Re: 'Sanitizing History is a stupid unproductive fight".

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Posted by steveVa on August 15, 2017 at 13:08:25 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: 'Sanitizing History to Make You Feel Better Is a Bad Thing' posted by Ed Gooding (VA) on August 15, 2017 at 10:30:52:

What is the point?
What a waste of money and resources...
Don't you have anything better to do??
Why not do something positive and productive.
Tearing down Confederate statuary is a waste of time. by steveVa
Why do it?
Why not pick a better fight?
All you are doing is giving the david dukes of the world some press time and exposure...
All you are doing is bringing out the crazies on both sides AND you are making both sides.
I was on the richmond va planning commission when they built the Arthur Ashe Statue and put it on Monument Avenue. Have you ever seen Monument Avenue? It is the most impressive Street in Richmond Va.. Large grand old and new houses with wide street scapes and impressive stone and bronze and iron statues. It really does not matter what the statues are, they look impressive and are nicely sculpted and wonderfully positioned as round-a-bouts in the large islands in the middle of important intersections. We are now at another important intersection in our history...

Have you ever seen the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue?? It looks small and stupid. It was sculpted by an amateur artist with no real talent and depicts Arthur Ashe in a sweat suite holding a book and a tennis racket, while children sink into the sidewalk in front of him. It was actually a good idea that was poorly executed.
The idea was to add some positive figures to Monument Avenue that would represent the complete population of Richmond Va. Not a bad idea at all.
I was the only planning commissioner to vote against the Arthur Ashe Statue, and I was accused of being racist and a campaign was begun to kick me off of the planning commission after that vote. Why did I vote against the Ashe statue??? The reason was simple. His wife asked us NOT to approve the statue because it did not represent Arthur's ideals, and was poorly sculpted.
The statue was built and placed on Monument Avenue at great expense to the city.
Was the sculpture successful?? Did it inspire the children to do well? Did it heal race relations? Are race relations better today because of the statue?? The answer is NO it did not.

But, I can tell you what it did do. The backlash I received for respecting Ashe's wife's wishes finally convinced me to resign from the planning commission before the end of my second term. What difference does that make you say??
It made a big difference to south richmond va.. I was the main (possibly the only) proponent of redevelopment in south richmond that was on the planning commission. I spearheaded much of the development in south richmond and forced the city administration to allocate equal dollars to south richmond projects. When I left the planning commission the city went back to ignoring most of south richmond and spending most of its resources on downtown and frivolous artsy projects that are mostly a waste of money.
Why does this matter?? South Richmond has the majority of the black and Hispanic population in the city of Richmond. I was the only commissioner trying to ensure that an equal percent of $$ was being spent for south Richmond for productive projects like schools and community centers. When I left a lot of that stopped. So in reality the only thing the Arthur Ashe Statue actually did was to reduce the spending for South Richmond projects by millions of dollars at one of the most needed times in our history.
The rest of the south should take a cue from the Arthur Ashe Statue. Do it nicely, or don't do it at all. Do something progressive and valuable with your $$... Build an Arthur Ashe school, or an Arthur Ashe playground or community center. Have an Arthur Ashe Scholarship.

The same thing applies to the Statues on Monument Avenue. Why waste money tearing down a part of our history. I said earlier that it does not matter what the Statues are... You probably question that statement. Everyone has their own interpretation of history. The current interpretations are a result of your political leanings. The left claims that the statues represent oppression and slavery. The right say that they do not. I say that Statues represent what ever you want them to represent while you are pushing your political campaign. People polarize other people to get their votes.

People polarize other people to get their votes. People polarize other people to get their votes. You have to say important things three times to make an important point.
No body would care who the statues are if it were not for political campaigns. Nobody would care about an expensive historic statue until you want to tear it down.
Why would a city vote to spend money to tear a statue down??? Why?? Because they can. Because they are in charge, and there for they can if they want to. Why?? Because they want to garner votes and get re-elected. Building a school does not bring out the voters as well...
When race becomes a way to garner votes, it becomes a divisive issue that propagates itself... It then does nothing more than to garner votes either way. The average Joe does not give a rats a$$ who that grand old statue is, it is just plain impressive. You can take offense, but that is your interpretation. My interpretation is completely different. The statues represent honor, valor, and sacrifice, and service to your country, win or loose. You fought for your country.
Here is where the rubber meets the road.
Here is where the rubber meets the road.
Their premise is wrong.
Their Premise is wrong.
The liberal left continues to propagate that the civil war was about slavery. They falsely represent to the world that my great great grandfather fought throughout the entire war to keep his slaves. My great great grandfather did not have any slaves. My great great grandfather did not even agree with nor believe in the practice of slavery. He even wrote in a letter to his wife that they were fighting to protect their lands and were fighting for Virginia. That is right, they were fighting for States rights. Not for Slavery. This political football is being played out in front of all of us, and the politically charged media continues to artfully depict that the civil war was purely about slavery and the oppression of black people. But the problem is that their assertion is FALSE. The men that fought fought for their country. Right or wrong, good or bad, they fought for their country.
A real good book to read is the Lee's of Stratford Hall. It gives you a real sense of how politics worked in our early country and the forming of the United States of America. You see how important States Rights were to our founding Fathers. It is very much the same as our fight with the British, or with Mexico. The States wanted to be able to make their own decisions. Period. To say that the Civil War was about slavery is the same as saying that the war with England was about Tea.

Thanks for letting me get that off of my chest.
I just hope that we see through the politics and go on and do something more productive...

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