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The big problem with removing Confederate monuments

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Today Rich Lowry argued that it’s time to mothball the Confederate monuments. His arguments are sound. I agree with him.

The monuments should go. Some of them simply should be trashed; others transmitted to museums, battlefields, and cemeteries. The heroism and losses of Confederate soldiers should be commemorated, but not in everyday public spaces where the monuments are flashpoints in poisonous racial contention, with white nationalists often mustering in their defense.

Removing the Confederate monuments makes sense, like removing a bag of sugar from an ant-infested kitchen cabinet makes sense. No sugar, no ants; no monuments, no nexus for protest and counter-protest.

But there’s a big problem with this.

The Civil War has been over for 152 years, but it is not done being re-litigated. I found this out the hard way back in 2015. I wrote a piece titled “It’s time for the Georgia legislature to stop honoring slavery.” The pushback was immediate and furious.

I live in the South, but I’m a northerner. I have no ancestral or cultural connection to this place. The people who do still bristle at the idea that the South’s secession and subsequent economic destruction was the fault of slavers trying to preserve the benighted institution of slavery. They have stories of ancestors who fought in the war, who suffered the after-effects, and who believe that the continuing call of the left for some kind of reparations to African Americans is really an attack on them and their families.

They see the removal of monuments as an attempt to purge their families from history–what John Davidson called a damnatio memoriaeMy piece on Georgia is cut-and-dried. Stone Mountain, by Georgia law , was created to “be maintained and operated as a Confederate memorial.” Before the state took over Stone Mountain, it was used by the Venable family as a KKK meeting location.

Sam Venable owned Venable Brothers Contractors, the largest granite contractor in the south; as such he was the sole owner of Stone Mountain.  On November 25, 1915, Venable was one of 40 men who participated in the “formal induction ceremony” of the revived Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, along with the speaker of the Georgia House, led by “Colonel” William J. Simmons.

Even knowing this terrible history, try bringing up the bas-relief carving on Stone Mountain’s face to most Georgians, or southerners in general.

The mountain was leased to the state by the Venable family, and finally sold in 1958.  Sam Venable was a well known leader in the Ku Klux Klan, and it was his idea to have Gutzon Borglum—who famously sculpted the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore—carve the mountain to honor the Confederate leaders.

If even an obvious example like this causes massive, head-exploding pushback from many white southerners, then what would a national effort to remove many public battle monuments of Confederate leaders bring?

It would be like adding gasoline to a house fire.

In June 2016, I likened Donald Trump’s siren song to racists to Godzilla rising from the sea. The monster was always there, it was simply dormant until some radioactive event awakened it.

This is a man who casually throws around terms like “the blacks love me,” then accuses the only black GOP candidate of being “pathological.” He speaks casually of Mexican rapists and murderers, then has a taco bowl at his Manhattan tower to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. He accuses an Indiana-born federal judge who prosecuted Mexican drug cartels of bias because the man is of Mexican heritage. This is the casual racism I heard growing up. This is the monster we thought was dormant and simply waiting for a generation to die.

We thought the Dylann Roofs of the world were aberrations. But instead of pursuing healing (which Gov. Nikki Haley and Charleston residents divinely did; I wrote about it with tears streaming from my eyes), the race-baiters dug until they found the monster. They went after the symbols of the Confederacy, cultural icons which are tied to the casual racism that was waiting to die.

And they stirred it back up and gave it new life.

Erick Erickson shared a similar opinion. “The leaders of the party, confronted by Todd Akin, abandoned ship for his stupid statements on rape and abortion. But the Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist. Damn them for that.”

Racism is here in all its ugliness. The violent racist fringe of both the right and the left must be prevented from taking more lives. This will require a proper use of government force. That means we should indeed use overwhelming shows of force to keep those groups from having another go at it. We should deny them ground on which to fight, and the weapons with which to fight.

We should treat them as terrorists, because at heart, they are terrorists.

However, when government, no matter how well-intentioned, strikes at the cultural and familial bonds of a rather large chunk of America, a group that’s been fighting a racist past and latent feelings of inferiority (look how well Trump did in the south), that action will be perceived differently by southerners than the rest of America.

The surest way to explode the “alt-right” into a large movement is to remove Confederate monuments en masse. Deny the “alt-right” access to those places, by all means. Restrict their ability to assemble large numbers of people–force them to rent an arena or other place, that’s what colleges do with speakers they don’t like. I’d rather suffer the ignominy of having cuffed an evil group’s First Amendment rights in a small way than the sure result of inflaming millions of otherwise peaceful people into joining that group’s terrible ranks.

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Culture and Religion

In a violent world, it’s time to do the right thing “for the children”

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In the never-ending assault on liberty, Progressive Democrats and Republicans often resort to using children as a type of political cover for their otherwise unpopular agenda. We are witnessing this right now as they work to dismantle the Second Amendment following the Florida high school shooting.

But let’s face it; who can say “no” to an agenda when it’s “for the children?”

Clearly, this ploy has paid huge dividends for big-government Progressives. One need look no further than the recent budget negotiations where the obsolete Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was renewed for 6 years. Or the recent suggestion to use Social Security to finance big-government’s newest entitlement—Ivanka Trump’s Paid Family Leave.

Quite honestly “for the children” has been so successful that I’ve decided to adopt it myself. While Progressives use it to destroy freedom, I will use it to defend the Constitution.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, Progressives are using the Florida tragedy to void the Second Amendment to keep children safe. But I will defend gun rights because it’s the only way we can keep them safe. Unarmed Americans in gun-free zones will only lead to more tragedies like Florida, not fewer.

Additionally, I will defend the First Amendment “for the children.” What future awaits the next generation if liberty is destroyed due to being raised on political correctness and spending their time in safe-spaces?

In fact, I will defend the entire Constitution “for the children.” What future will the next generation have if tyranny replaces freedom?

I will also fight for the Convention of States‘ goal for a balanced budget amendment “for the children.” What kind of future will they have if they are forced to pay for our fiscal irresponsibility? And I will fight to end abortion “for the (unborn) children,” because they are deprived of even having a future when they are deprived their right to life.

While there will certainly be more issues to fight for, it’s time to get ready America. The Strident Conservative is going to be more strident than ever because, after all, it’s “for the children.”

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are featured on RedState.com, NOQReport.com, and TheResurgent.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Let’s Just Say It: The Socialist-Left Doesn’t Really Care About Protecting Children.

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The Socialist Left cares more about gun confiscation than any common sense ideas that will really protect kids.

Once again, we are witness to the nation’s Socialist-Left blithely assuming the unearned mantle of moral superiority because they supposedly care for ‘the children’. Allegedly ‘objective’ journalists are falling all over themselves to promote a nascent campaign to destroy our common sense civil rights to the exclusion of steps that will really ‘Do Something’.

It is not without a hint of irony that the nation’s Socialist-Left does not care about children before they are born.  But soon after they become a precious commodity that must be protected at all costs – including everyone’s fundamental human rights. Those who are merely a cluster of cells or some other humanity denying pejorative in the womb, suddenly become children to be exploited for political gain upon their full emergence into the world.

Gun Control Doesn’t Work – If it did, Chicago would be the safest city in the nation.

Before the nation’s Socialist-Left is celebrated by the world with the laurels protector of children par excellence, shouldn’t we check their alleged solutions as to whether they work? For if gun control doesn’t work, then they are merely setting up next the mass murder tragedy, and for another round of attacks on our civil rights.

Examine their much ballyhooed utterances over the past few days: The national socialist left is promising a little temporary safety exchange for a mere pittance of our essential liberty. Of course, if they are pressed on the point, they will respond with some sort of meaningless boilerplate about cutting down the carnage. Even so, such vague promises are hardly worth the loss of liberty it would entail.

So what are we getting for the low-low cost of our freedom? How do their ‘solutions’ fair in the real world? Do they actually protect people? Or do they make the situation worse – far worse?

Well, we already know that very much like it’s tyrannical half-sister socialism, Gun control doesn’t work. Just ask the good people of Chicago or Caracas whether or not depriving the innocent of their means of self-defence will protect them. Parenthetically speaking, if gun control actually worked in some mythical Utopia, we would be hearing it about 24/7. This fantasy world doesn’t exist, but there are other steps that can be taken to save at least one life – and isn’t that the standard by which such things are measured?

Commonsense steps that will really protect children and their Civil Rights.

There have been plenty of suggested initiatives that will help reduce these terrorist attacks, from containing the contagion by reducing the killer’s media profile to providing better security. Not to mention restoring basic discipline and a moral underpinning to our children, or simply letting people defend themselves getting rid of the insanity of so-called “Gun Free” zones.

But instead of discussing steps that will actually work, the Socialist-Left ridicules them.  Or they insanely advocate we go further in removing God from the public square or decree them to be a redirection from their real obsession.

The Takeaway

To be perfectly blunt about it: The most disgusting aspect of this whole cycle is that it won’t do a thing to protect children and we will be back here doing the very same thing in a few weeks or months. That is what is sickening about this whole affair, and just crediting the Socialist-Left with just a modicum of basic intelligence will show that they know this as well.

To the nation’s Socialist-Left, getting to their ultimate goal gun confiscation is far more important than the lives of children they supposedly want to protect. They care more about depriving people of the means to resist [how’s that for a word?] to their Marxist tyranny than everyone’s safety, and they are willing to climb over the bodies of children to get there. If the nation’s Socialist-Left really cared about protecting children they would advocate what works instead of what brings them power.

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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