Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stampede at the monuments

NOLA.com made you a map to the movie stars' homes but for Confederate statues. They've mostly done this so that a bunch of people linked over from whatever talk radio station posts it first can write a bunch of comments about how their history and heritage is all being erased and whatnot.

But it's a nice map. There may even be a few Confederate place names on there most of us weren't aware of.  I didn't even know the story behind Palmer Park until last year's Rising Tide.
Benjamin Morgan Palmer was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans during the Civil War era, and his 1860 Thanksgiving sermon after the election of Abraham Lincoln is credited with spurring Louisiana’s secession. In it, Palmer describes slavery as an institution created by God to benefit the “black races.”

“We know better than others that every attribute of their character fits them for dependence and servitude,” Palmer said. “By nature the most affectionate and loyal of all races beneath the sun, they are also the most helpless; and no calamity can befall them greater than the loss of that protection they enjoy under this patriarchal system.”

The park that bears his name at the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues was originally called Hamilton Square when it was created as a formal gathering place for the former city of Carrollton, said Kevin McQueeney, a University of New Orleans graduate student in history who presented his findings Saturday at the Rising Tide conference. Hamilton Square was originally named after Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, but after Palmer’s death in a streetcar accident in 1902, New Orleans city leaders decided to rename the park after him.

“It’s a time period right around when we’re building the Jeff Davis monument,” McQueeney said, describing an era of “commemoration” of the Confederacy in New Orleans.
There are 14 streets and 12 monuments on the map. Some of these are statues. Others are plaques or parks. It's a good idea to remind ourselves that only a selected few of those are even "under threat" of removal by Mitch Landrieu and his supposedly raging horde of iconoclasts and followers of chaos out of control or whatever. 

But rather than worry about that, here's a pretty good Adrastos post about the limits of the various "slippery slope" and straw man arguments posited by the neo-Confederates.  You should go read that. Also, since Adrastos is one of those people who likes to finish posts with soundtracks here's one of those.


Owen Courrèges said...

The idea is that there's no principled place to stop once you start removing historic monuments. I don't think either you or Adrastos have really addressed that. Instead, it's just a lot of bloviating about how any memorial to a figure in the Confederacy is exclusively about treason and white supremacy. Because that's perfectly self-evident to everyone, apparently.

mominem said...

There are at least a few suspect "Confederate Monuments" in that list

Francis T Nicholls the street is specifically named after him as Governor. As governor he opposed the Louisiana Lottery and fought corruption. Like many of his class he was a slave owner and supported the Confederacy.

Benjamin Palmer was a noted orator, theologian and a major figure in the
city for almost half a century and was recognized for ministering to
people during a Yellow Fever epidemic. He also fought the Louisiana
Lottery. Prior to and during teh Civil War he did speak eloquently on behalf of the south and slavery.

John Caldwell Calhoun had been dead for over a decade before the Civil War. He had been a major national political figure during his
life. He served as Vice President of the United States under J. Q.
Adams, and Jackson, and held cabinet positions under
presidents Monroe and Tyler. He served in the U S House of
Representative and U S Senate. That resume should be enough to get a few
things named after him.

General Albert Pike was a general in the Confederate Army for
less than 6 months with a less than spectacular record, in fact he was charged with theft, insubordination and treason, but lacking solid proof was allowed to resign. It seems more
likely that he was recognized for his post war accomplishments,
especially his devotion to freemasonry.