What ends when the symbols shatter?

At a minimum, glorification, enshrinement of the dregs of human behavior, the traitors and destroyers of human progress are relegated to bad memories. Only the fools who look backwards for lack of their own understanding need monuments to traitors.

11 thoughts on “What ends when the symbols shatter?

  1. Footnote says:

    “The History of a Controversial Symbol : A Buddhist priest tries to educate the public about the swastika’s history as a sign of peace and good luck.” (The New Yorker, August 21st issue) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/21/the-history-of-a-controversial-symbol
    “Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung)” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denazification
    “Controversy over Confederate Statues Inspires Betsy DeVos to Google Civil War” http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/controversy-over-confederate-statues-inspires-betsy-devos-to-google-civil-war

  2. Ouroboros says:

    “In a verdant German village, a church bell that bears a swastika tolls. Above the symbol is an inscription: “All for the Fatherland, Adolf Hitler.” (see http://www.evangelischer-kirchenbote.de/fileadmin/user_upload/kirchenbote/bilder/2017/kibo2017_22-1a.jpg )
    When the Nazi iconography was discovered this summer in Herxheim am Berg, some called for the bell’s removal, others for its protection as a relic of a shameful national history. The village is still deciding what to do.
    Germans have a word for coming to terms with the past, “Vergangenheitsbewaltigung.” The word, coined after World War II, has no equivalent in the English language, no analog that might inform the anguished American debate over Confederate monuments — whose defenders include not just torch-wielding neo-Nazis in Charlottesville but also President Donald Trump.”
    See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergangenheitsbew%C3%A4ltigung

  3. Ibn Khaldun says:

    “The Confederate General Who Was Erased : There’s a reason you won’t find many monuments in the South to one of Robert E. Lee’s most able deputies.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-confederate-general-who-was-erased-from-history_us_599b3747e4b06a788a2af43e
    “…But the (Confederate) monuments were not merely commemorative. They were designed to conceal a past that their designers wanted to suppress. That past was the period after Reconstruction and before Jim Crow, years in which African Americans in the former Confederacy exercised political power, ran for public office, published newspapers, marched as militias, ran businesses, organized voluntary associations, built schools and churches: a time, in other words, when they participated as full members of society.”

  4. 4theRecord says:

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – An organizer of a protest against a re-enactment of the return of Spanish conquerors to New Mexico after a 17th century American Indian revolt is facing felony charges. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2017-09-11/new-mexico-conquistador-protester-faces-felony-charges Photo caption: “Police in Santa Fe, N.M., lead away protester organizer Jennifer Marley of San Ildefonso Pueblo in hand restraints on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Santa Fe police say they arrested at least 12 people to contain protest against an annual pageant marking the return of Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas to New Mexico following a 17th century Indian revolt. Public statues and tributes to early Spanish conquerors are facing mounting criticism tied to the brutal treatment of American Indians centuries ago by Spanish soldiers and missionaries, with activists drawing ethical parallels to the national controversy over Confederate monuments.”
    “US monuments to Spanish conquest facing mounting criticism” (LA Times) http://www.latimes.com/nation/sns-bc-us–conquistadors-monuments-20170908-story.html
    See also “Oñate’s Missing Foot” http://pages.ucsd.edu/~rfrank/class_web/ES-112A/Onate.html ‘savage Indians’ vis-à-vis a Civil War memorial in Santa Fe NM https://everything2.com/user/haze/writeups/savage and “Ayn Rand on Native Americans” https://everything2.com/title/Ayn+Rand+on+Native+Americans

  5. Chinch says:

    “The Painful History of a Confederate Monument Tells Itself” https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/547253/confederate-monuments-graven-image/ “The history of a single monument is writ large in Sierra Pettengill’s new short film, “Graven Image”, produced by Field of Vision. The documentary relies solely on archival record to tell the story of Georgia’s Stone Mountain monument, which depicts Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis engraved in the mountain face. Originally conceived of by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1912, Stone Mountain was chosen as the site of the rebirth of the KKK in 1915. Although it was shelved during the Great Depression, it was later revitalized in the wake of the seminal Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case, and finally completed in 1970. In 2001, Georgia state law passed a mandate that the monument never be removed or altered.
    With “Graven Image”, Pettengill hopes to recontextualize the Confederate monument and examine the way American narratives are told—and often warped—through time.”

  6. Levon says:

    “Finding A Legal Loophole, Memphis Takes Down Its Confederate Statues” https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/21/572654031/finding-a-legal-loophole-memphis-takes-down-its-confederate-statues Selling the parks to a private entity allowed the city to skirt the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, passed in 2013 and amended in 2016, which prohibits the removal, relocation or renaming of a memorial that is on public property. In a long post to Facebook, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland explained the context of the statues. https://www.facebook.com/notes/mayor-jim-strickland/remarks-on-the-removal-of-confederate-statues-in-memphis/1978056585799495/

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