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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 14:59
Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
 
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catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Over the past few days, some protectors have reached out to like-angry defenders of the Confederate cause, encouraging outsiders to come down to the city to show support to maintain the statues and the honored values of the past.  As early as this very morning, I received in Facebook Messenger, a post from a woman with no connection to Louisiana.  Her face was surrounded by the Confederate flag.  She exclaimed help is on the way, anything for the cause. 

On the other side of the online Mason-Dixon line are those who see the dangerous rebirth of hate, of white supremacy and revenge. They also have a purpose.  They are fighting against the battle cry of the "South will rise again", but this time, on the digital war place of online combat, certainly not Gettysburg.

To many of them, there is no middle ground.  Those who defend the stones of Lee, Beaureguard, Davis and the blood of the liberty insurrection are 21st-century racists, nothing more, nothing less.

And so I've wondered.  I know why many of those who plea for the removals of the historical edifices of yesterday want to rip away all vestiges from the vilest moments of the American past.  For the most part, their objects are plain and indeed noble for seeking a higher cause of human dignity.

But, I ask--is it fair and accurate to label and denounce those who stand to honor the blood of their ancestors, who fought for what they felt to be a just belief system?  Is it fair to color any and certainly all of the monument defenders as lowly heirs to bigotry gone by?  Or, are there other forces present, something I don't understand or feel? Forces that transcends the obvious and rank charges that the practices by a population who preserved an economic and social caste system were so evil that any support of that history, would be equally evil?  

So, today, I  reached out to all sides, to try to understand the root emotions for such anger churning and turning friends into foes.  Here is my Facebook post.

Needless to say, the responses have been very enlightening, thoughtful, and emotionally penetrating. Allow me to share my post with you and do click to view the discussions.  Or click to the original expression on Facebook or simply respond below.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 April 2017 12:01
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