There was an eminently thoughtful opinion in the Statesman Monday last, written by a Lutheran minister from Illinois. Benjamin J. Dueholm’s piece was almost certainly printed somewhere else first, and lifted by our local daily, but I’m glad it was. It answered perfectly the incessant whining of those pretending to be concerned with preserving historical heritage when they bitch about the removal of monuments to Confederate leaders and generals. The title says it all: “We Don’t Erase History by Pulling Statues Down—We Do It By Putting Them Up.”
I wish I could reprint the entire opinion here in Mr. Cope’s Cave, but I don’t know what the legalities of such a reprint would be. And as my lawyer has recently been admitted to the Witness Protection Program and relocated to … er, uh … someplace far, far away, I am temporarily devoid of legal counsel.
So instead, I will give you the gist of it. Essentially, Mr. Dueholm argues that those statues of Confederate “heroes” looking all noble and stalwart and shit, sitting ramrod straight astride their gallant mounts, is all a deceptive charade for what the bastards were really up to. They were traitors to the country that gave them their privileges and positions, and that even gave most of them their military training. (i.e., Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Generals George Pickett and James Longstreet, to name just a few, attended West Point.)
What’s more, their rebellion had nothing to do with “Yankee aggression,” as has been claimed by Southern apologist dimwits for 150 years, or states rights. Had they not been engaged in an institutional way in the most heinous crime against humanity short of mass genocide—and they were not shy about bloodying their bayonets in that heinous crime, either; ask a Cherokee or a Choctaw—there would have been no Yankee aggression. There would have been no dispute over states rights. There would have been no Civil War.
Their rebellion was to preserve slavery. Period. And they weren’t the least bit picky how many hundreds of thousands of blue or grey coats had to die to preserve it. In a rational world—a realm that we must doubt will ever include those territories south of the Mason-Dixon Line—the descendants of the Confederate dead would be cursing those bronze figures even more intensely than the current protests. After all, those are the men who brought the South to shame and shambles, not the Union.
What follows isn’t something Pastor Dueholmwrote or suggested, but it was Dueholm’s piece that inspired the thought in yours truly. Perhaps, to make sure the sons of the Confederacy—or more accurately, the great, great grandsons of the Confederacy—are able to keep constant reminders of that southern heritage of which they’re so god-damned proud, we should erect new monuments to Confederate leaders to replace the offensively dishonest ones that currently adorn the South like surface eruptions of the cancer beneath. But this time, let us make sure the monuments are more commensurate to the Confederacy’s true contribution to American history. Instead of having Lee, Jackson, Jefferson Davis and the monstrous Nathan Bedford Forrest posing atop their steeds like foppish actors from a shitty silent movie, let us put them in uniforms of bronze, dangling at the end of bronze ropes from the bronze gallows—the fate they rightfully deserved and the fallen of both sides were denied.
I will even volunteer my writing skills to creating the inscription accompanying each monument: Had There Been Any Justice …