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Another Stupid Letter to the Editor

Paul in Saudi

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From the mighty Dothan (Alabama) Eagle:
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Alabamians have celebrated Robert E. Lee holiday in January for over 120 years. Lee's holiday is the oldest Alabama holiday named for a famous historical figure.

Shamefully, last Legislative Session, 20 Republican Senators joined with the left-wing Democrats to sponsor Senate Bill 300, which would have abolished Lee's birthday holiday in January, his birth month.

Area Republican Senators who co-sponsored SB 300 were Will Barfoot, Greg Albritton, and Donnie Chesteen. Sen. Jimmy Holley did not join with these RINOs.



Their bill was defeated and hopefully will not be reintroduced this legislative session.

These big-business-owned Republicans are opposed to President Trump's position stated at Cullman, Aug. 21, 2021:


"They want to get rid of our great heroes and heroines. They were starting to rip down our statues and it started with people, Confederate people, generals, and then it went to Robert E. Lee and then it went to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson and now, George Washington. We’re not going to let this stuff go on."


Polls by PBS and NPR show that 86% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats want our Confederate monuments to stay where they are and not be moved. The same goes for our Confederate holidays and symbols.


Twenty-five years ago, giant corporations tricked Democrats into opposing the Confederate Battle Flag, which made the rural white voters known as yellow-dog Democrats switch to the Republican Party.

Now the Democrats have tricked these Lincoln-Republicans into opposing our Confederate holidays, causing Republicans to lose this rural white vote.


These anti-Confederate Republicans will destroy the Republican Party, just as the Democrats did theirs, if they continue to attack Confederate heritage.

President Eisenhower wrote on Aug. 9, 1960, “General Robert E. Lee was one of the supremely gifted men produced by our nation. A nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

Roger Broxton

Andalusia
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https://dothaneagle.com/opinion/let...cle_2e99280a-7322-11ec-8ff5-130cf96e40e2.html
 
“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

jhc Donald, Lee surrendered his army and country
 
As someone who has zero knowledge of this Robert E. Lee character other that he probably wasn't east Asian, what did he do that would warrant him getting a holiday? (or not getting one)

Google tells me that he was in charge of the army of the losing side of the American civil war. Is it common for losers to get holidays named after them? I can't think of any other examples but I assume it's happened before. I don't see any "Controversies" listed in his wikipedia article, but.. did he do anything evil while in charge that isn't obvious just by glancing at his wikipedia article index?

If he was a celebrated war hero it seems to make sense that some southern states would still have a holiday named after him, since I assume he's from one of those states and had roots there. And I mean, Germans don't celebrate Rommel Fridays or whatever, but I assume that there are examples of losers getting holidays. Cause.. he was American after all, sort of, wasn't he? So I can see some potential sense to a holiday, maybe. If he was a brilliant tactician or something, etc. but like I said - I don't really know anything about him. It seems that if you're a general you fight for whatever side you are on, so you can't fault him for fighting for the racists.. or can you?

Looking at his list of battles, he seems to have tied most of them and he has 1 more victory than defeat. So.. he wasn't really that special as a general? Or does that not paint the whole picture?

Is the only problem that he was fighting for the wrong side or is there more to it?

Signed,
A curious Canadian who doesn't understand your ways
 
As someone who has zero knowledge of this Robert E. Lee character other that he probably wasn't east Asian, what did he do that would warrant him getting a holiday? (or not getting one)

Google tells me that he was in charge of the army of the losing side of the American civil war. Is it common for losers to get holidays named after them? I can't think of any other examples but I assume it's happened before. I don't see any "Controversies" listed in his wikipedia article, but.. did he do anything evil while in charge that isn't obvious just by glancing at his wikipedia article index?

If he was a celebrated war hero it seems to make sense that some southern states would still have a holiday named after him, since I assume he's from one of those states and had roots there. And I mean, Germans don't celebrate Rommel Fridays or whatever, but I assume that there are examples of losers getting holidays. Cause.. he was American after all, sort of, wasn't he? So I can see some potential sense to a holiday, maybe. If he was a brilliant tactician or something, etc. but like I said - I don't really know anything about him. It seems that if you're a general you fight for whatever side you are on, so you can't fault him for fighting for the racists.. or can you?

Looking at his list of battles, he seems to have tied most of them and he has 1 more victory than defeat. So.. he wasn't really that special as a general? Or does that not paint the whole picture?

Is the only problem that he was fighting for the wrong side or is there more to it?

Signed,
A curious Canadian who doesn't understand your ways
Maybe the south had all the historians after the civil war? :dunno:

Or maybe Lee was so good he prolonged the doomed-from-the-start war for years single-handedly?

All I know for sure is that the north and south had capitols less than 160 km from each other, so what the hell?
4 years? Why?!

 
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Warp - Probably best to peruse the wikipedia on American Civil War. The first paragraph alone should give you a pretty big clue as to the issue with Confederate symbolism and its status these days.

Objectively speaking, Lee was indeed a great general and leader. The Confederate States (The South) were significantly out-manned and out-supplied compared to the Union (Northern States), so one needs to take those battles in that context.

The issue is not about winning and losing but rather what these symbols (flags, monuments, etc.) and leaders represented since the time of the War.
 
Maybe the south had all the historians after the civil war? :dunno:
No, it was the only well-known successful example of a reconciliation in a civil war.
Thats why while the institutions were demolished the loosing side was allowed to keep their pride.

Not any more.
 
Warp - Probably best to peruse the wikipedia on American Civil War. The first paragraph alone should give you a pretty big clue as to the issue with Confederate symbolism and its status these days.

Objectively speaking, Lee was indeed a great general and leader. The Confederate States (The South) were significantly out-manned and out-supplied compared to the Union (Northern States), so one needs to take those battles in that context.

The issue is not about winning and losing but rather what these symbols (flags, monuments, etc.) and leaders represented since the time of the War.

So basically it'd be like Germans celebrating a holiday with Nazi symbols and Nazi generals. That makes sense to me, although many American seem to disagree with this (whereas not many Germans would, it seems)

What do Southern Americans (that sounds clunky - how else to refer to them?) do on this holiday? Do they celebrate confederate things and symbols and not the man specifically?
 
So basically it'd be like Germans celebrating a holiday with Nazi symbols and Nazi generals. That makes sense to me, although many American seem to disagree with this (whereas not many Germans would, it seems).

Southerner works. I'm a Southerner myself.

Let's keep in mind that probably 99.9% of Americans outside of Bama have never even heard of this holiday, and probably a lot of of folks in Bama too. I'm from neighboring Georgia myself, and the maternal side of my family is from Bama. I spent a lot time in Bama up to and including my college years. Spent summers there with the grandfolk, and in college it was basically my home (base). Never heard of this "holiday". And while we're at it, I cannot name any state sanctioned holiday. Not saying state holidays don't exist on some level, but they generally aren't given much thought on a national level. I'd say they are token holidays. So, to point, I don't know what these guys do on this "holiday" but in the South there have been groups that have their little Confederate celebrations and reenactments.

IMO there is a deeper context to that guy's letter. If one reads it again, you will see that it is highly politicized, and mentions some very dubious statistics which many hard right-wingers are prone to do.

The problem with Confederate symbology is its association with systematic racism that has existed since the time of the war, and still exists today on some level. I'd encourage you to look up "Jim Crow Laws" and the "Reconstruction Era"
 
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As someone who has zero knowledge of this Robert E. Lee character other that he probably wasn't east Asian, what did he do that would warrant him getting a holiday? (or not getting one)

Google tells me that he was in charge of the army of the losing side of the American civil war. Is it common for losers to get holidays named after them? I can't think of any other examples but I assume it's happened before. I don't see any "Controversies" listed in his wikipedia article, but.. did he do anything evil while in charge that isn't obvious just by glancing at his wikipedia article index?

If he was a celebrated war hero it seems to make sense that some southern states would still have a holiday named after him, since I assume he's from one of those states and had roots there. And I mean, Germans don't celebrate Rommel Fridays or whatever, but I assume that there are examples of losers getting holidays. Cause.. he was American after all, sort of, wasn't he? So I can see some potential sense to a holiday, maybe. If he was a brilliant tactician or something, etc. but like I said - I don't really know anything about him. It seems that if you're a general you fight for whatever side you are on, so you can't fault him for fighting for the racists.. or can you?

Looking at his list of battles, he seems to have tied most of them and he has 1 more victory than defeat. So.. he wasn't really that special as a general? Or does that not paint the whole picture?

Is the only problem that he was fighting for the wrong side or is there more to it?

Signed,
A curious Canadian who doesn't understand your ways
A quick google tells me that there is a monument to Generals Wolfe and Montcalm at Chateau Frontenac and evidently Montcalm has other statues dedicated to him even though he was on the losing side of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Each side in a battle or war tends to see their commanding officers (or monarchs, back in the days when monarchs actually got off their backsides and put their own selves on the line instead of expecting the commoners to take all the risk) as the hero - regardless if they win or lose.

So basically it'd be like Germans celebrating a holiday with Nazi symbols and Nazi generals. That makes sense to me, although many American seem to disagree with this (whereas not many Germans would, it seems)
There are Germans who are horrified by Nazi symbols and Hitler and it would never occur to them to celebrate any part of it. My mother's second husband once said, "I'm ashamed that my family is from Germany."

On the other hand... someone on TrekBBS - with whom I get along with fine most of the time, but on this occasion she must have promptly ended up on a long list of being ignored... stated "The war was 70 years ago. Why don't they (the Jews) just get over it already?"

This woman is from Bavaria. She honestly had no clue how offensive her post was, and I explained to her that it's not just the people then who were affected, but also their children and grandchildren. Generational trauma is a thing. The closest Canadian equivalents are the internment of the Japanese Canadians during WWII and the native residential schools. And some of the people who were sent to the camps are still alive. They're elderly now, but still alive and they haven't forgotten.
 
Southerner works. I'm a Southerner myself.

Let's keep in mind that probably 99.9% of Americans outside of Bama have never even heard of this holiday, and probably a lot of of folks in Bama too. I'm from neighboring Georgia myself, and the maternal side of my family is from Bama. I spent a lot time in Bama up to my and including my college years. Spent summers there with the grandfolk, and in college it was basically my home (base). Never heard of this "holiday". And while we're at it, I cannot name any state sanctioned holiday. Not saying state holidays don't exist on some level, but they generally aren't given much thought on a national level. I'd say they are token holidays. So, to point, I don't know what these guys do on this "holiday" but in the South there have been groups that have their little Confederate celebrations and reenactments.

IMO there is a deeper context to that guy's letter. If one reads it again, you will see that it is highly politicized, and mentions some very dubious statistics which many hard right-wingers are prone to do.

The problem with Confederate symbology is its association with systematic racism that has existed since the time of the war, and still exists today on some level. I'd encourage you to look up "Jim Crow Laws" and the "Reconstruction Era"
So "holiday", in this sense, has no "you do not have to go to work today" about it?
 
There are Germans who are horrified by Nazi symbols and Hitler and it would never occur to them to celebrate any part of it.
Maybe the Nazi topic isn't fully understood in America etc. by some peoples. Nazi symbols are forbidden in Germany, if they are "celebrated" it's chargeable.

I have no deep knowledge about the topic at hand here (but i know slavery was a major problem during this time).
However comparing something with Hitler rarely holds up cos his crimes are pretty much unmatched in history.
 
Wasn't general (then president) Eisenhower on the dim side of things? I've read that on his visit to Athens he described the then prime minister as equal (or better) to Perikles.
Hint: that was a very dumb thing to say.

As for the confederate issue, I think that it's not going away, and if the US wishes to keep being one country, they have to accept local differences. After all, you are the size of a continent, so can't all be uniform.
 
I wonder if Canadians would be okay with losing French generals/leaders having their own statues & holidays if (and this is highly hypothetical) the French colonists practiced slavery, the rest of Canada didn't, and we fought a war over it.

Southerner works. I'm a Southerner myself.

That works when discussing this in the context of America, so I suppose "American Southener" makes the most sense when discussing this in an international context (but correct me if I'm wrong)

The problem with Confederate symbology is its association with systematic racism that has existed since the time of the war, and still exists today on some level. I'd encourage you to look up "Jim Crow Laws" and the "Reconstruction Era"

Ah yeah, I do know that this is the reason why for instance the confederate flag is looked down upon as a symbol of racism, but it wasn't immediately obvious to me that a military leader would be seen as a similar sort of symbol (unless he perpetrated some crimes directly in some way that were seen as especially heinous). Thanks for the insights
 
I was thinking how Egypt celebrates the Yom Kippur War as an example of people celebrating a war they lost but they did regain the Suez out of it and I think that might have been their main goal in the war.
 
So "holiday", in this sense, has no "you do not have to go to work today" about it?
Yup. If anything like that exists at all it would be at a highly localized level, but I'm not aware of any. Certainly there are towns or small areas that have their own unique observances based on something or another. But most "time off" holidays recognized by businesses align to the government holiday schedule - like Christmas, Thanksgiving and July 4th
 
Ah yeah, I do know that this is the reason why for instance the confederate flag is looked down upon as a symbol of racism, but it wasn't immediately obvious to me that a military leader would be seen as a similar sort of symbol (unless he perpetrated some crimes directly in some way that were seen as especially heinous). Thanks for the insights

Many if not all of this Confederate leaders, including Lee, who were subsequently memorialized by statues across the South, were slave-owners and proponents of the institution. Lee was a somewhat complex character in that regard. But anyway, I'd say that it's a combination of both, but ultimately the issue is these symbols serving as both reminders of the history of slavery in this country and the systematic racism they represent since that time.

The American Civil War, of course, will always be studied closely in American education. It's a fascinating war in many respects, from the causes to the strategies and technologies (and not just military). It was precursor to or maybe even the first modern war. In my view, the causes of the war should always be studied and discussed, i.e., remembered. But by removing the symbols that have terrorized a portion of the populace for many years, we can start to heal from what has happened since the war. And maybe certain small groups that continue to worship these symbols for the wrong reasons will start to die out (tall order).
 
It seems that if you're a general you fight for whatever side you are on, so you can't fault him for fighting for the racists.. or can you?

At the end of the day, the question of whether generals have a choice who they fight for might have some validity in international conflicts (especially with states who might throw around words like "deserter" if you leave without permission), but is much less so in a civil war, where people picking their side is the norm. It's definitely not applicable to Lee.

Lee *was an officer of the United States Army* as states began to secede ; he resigned because he didn't want to fight Virginia, and offered his services to the Confederacy. He absolutely did have a choice which side he fought on, the Union would have been happy to have him on their side (in fact he was up for promotion until he decided to resign), he exercised it. He had every opportunity to do better.
 
Lee *was an officer of the United States Army* as states began to secede ; he resigned because he didn't want to fight Virginia, and offered his services to the Confederacy. He absolutely did have a choice which side he fought on, the Union would have been happy to have him on their side (in fact he was up for promotion until he decided to resign), he exercised it. He had every opportunity to do better.

That seems like a very important point.
 
It wouldn't really have been more noble if he fought for the north, out of the calculation he'd be more secure in his legacy :)
I also doubt the north would blacken his legacy had he sided with them - assuming, in this impossible theoretical, that his personality would remain the same.
 
Yes, Kyriakos. If Lee had sided with the country that wasn't founded for the express, explicit purpose of maintaining a social order built on crimes against humanity, we wouldn't be criticizing him for siding with a country that existed for the express explicit purpose of maintaing a social order built on crimes against humanity.

He wrecked his own legacy. We're just observing the damage.
 
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