Virginia military college to keep its Confederate statues

Virginia military college to keep its Confederate statues

A Virginia military college has decided to keep its Confederate statues but consider adding more historical context

This is a good compromise

another good compromise would be to build union statues facing confederate statues.

so that way, if they ever come to life, they fight each other instead of innocent people.

In this thread: OP getting really angry that VMI is keeping their confederate statues and even angrier that no one cares or wants to engage with him in pointless semantics

False equivalence.

Many of the confederate generals graduated from US military academies and served in other wars for the US other than the Civil War.

They also helped develop modern military tactics, which is kind of important to a military college.

The civil war wasn't quickly crushed by the north because the south had such great generals. This seems reasonable to have statues there, and adding historical context is a good compromise.

You dont know anything about the civil war. I hope you know a ton of military bases are named after Confederates too.

That doesn't discount they were some of the best military minds in US history and fought for the US in other wars too. Plus they weren't convicted of treason.

Nah. What is this kind of nuance doing here? It has no place on reddit.

This is a Military School. Despite your virtue signaling, There were many great tacticians in the Confedrate Army. Their priniciples are still used today.its not all about you and your nonsense.

It ain't called USMI, that should be enough of a hint for a very smart person such as yourself.

The problem is some of the statues honouring confederate soldiers are priceless timeless things that must be preserved.

and some were erected in the 50's to say fuck you.

Some people can't tell the difference between the two, and that is a problem

You never addressed my earlier question

Because im alluding to something bigger that you dont understand. Why are the bases named this way? Why was there massive pardon for the Confederacy?

The nation healed and came back together after a very bloody war. Stop trying to divide it again

This school literally fought for the confederacy at the battle of New Market. Like the students and faculty.

Using the logic of statue removal in this case means you should probably shut down the school and dismantle all of its buildings.

Many members of the Confederate officer corps were either pre-war faculty or graduates of VMI. They were eminent members of that community, no matter how loathsome the cause in which they ultimately fought. If we are going to start going around tearing down every statue of every person with something dark or morally questionable in their past we're not going to have very many statues left, and certainly none of our founding fathers.

Adding historical context to these statues is the correct answer. Many of them were erected years after the war in an effort to publicly rehabilitate the South and promote the Lost Cause narrative. Adding thoughtfully written context to these statues destroys their value as cultural white wash and prevents them from being symbols of pride for those who would use them as a rallying point for their immoral aims.

Jackson taught at VMI, you can still visit his home in Lexington. Lee was the president of Washington College after the war (now Washington&Lee) which is right next door to VMI. Jackson's story is kind of cool as he broke State law to teach slaves to read. You can actually still see his old Horse "Little Sorrel" who has now been stuffed. The VMI cadets were called into service in 1864 during the Union's invasion of the valley, they fought at New Market and a number died including one of Thomas Jefferson's grandsons. And it shouldn't be that surprising that VMI honors them as VMI is a Virginia state college and Virginia left the Union.

Lexington is a really cool town to visit, lots of history and a very cool graveyard

It was a confederate military institute. I hate to say this but "tradition".

Here's a fact that will piss people off more: The students also salute statue of Jackson on the way in and out of the barracks.

Lol you keep repeating all this and aren't even trying to understand or counter argue reasonably

I think people are free to keep or discard whatever statues they want. As long as it's decided in an open and democratic fashion.

There were hundreds of thousands of Confederate casualties in the war. It really doesn't make sense to pretend that it never happened or to only have memorials to one side.

This "freedom of speech" crap has gotten out of hand. Seriously, I'm sick to death of hate and vulgarity in speech and music being deemed a 1st amendment right.

Holy shit you are an extremist

It wouldn't be until 1869 (four years after the Civil War) that the Supreme Court ruled that states couldn't succeed.

Prior to the civil war may people adhered to the "Compact Theory": the Union is not a national government, but instead a compact of independent sovereigns, somewhat like a League of Nations. Nations can unilaterally rescind treaties; so, under Compact Theory, could the states unilaterally rescind their membership in the US. Like France leaving NATO, or Australia pulling out of the UN. Compact Theory had a long and respectable pedigree in American politics. Jefferson was a proponent, and at one point so was Madison (at least for a while). The states are not bound by anything like contract law. The states are sovereign, they entered into a compact, and they can withdraw from at will.

Actually under Civil War was the SECOND time states dealt with succession. The first time was New England succession during the War of 1812. In a hilarious flip it was the many of the Northern states that was were arguing that states had the right to succeed while it was the Southern states that was arguing that states did not have that right.

The issue at the time was not as clear cut and people did not have the national identity that we have today.

I don't know about honor them, but study them? You bet. Rommel, for instance, a great tactician.

FYI- prior to the Civil War states were viewed with the right to succession from the union.

Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; and that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, to effect their safety and happiness.”

Abraham Lincoln himself was a defender of secession at one point in his career:

“Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one which suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right-a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own so much of the territory as they inhabit.”

President James Buchanan stated succinctly in a speech before Congress, December 1860 that the Constitution does not delegate to the Federal government the power to use force against a state:

"The question fairly stated is, Has the Constitution delegated to Congress the power to coerce a State into submission which is attempting to withdraw or has actually withdrawn from the Confederacy? If answered in the affirmative, it must be on the principle that the power has been conferred upon Congress to declare and to make war against a State. After much serious reflection I have arrived at the conclusion that no such power has been delegated to Congress or to any other department of the Federal Government. It is manifest upon an inspection of the Constitution that this is not among the specific and enumerated powers granted to Congress, and it is equally apparent that its exercise is not 'necessary and proper for carrying into execution' any one of these powers. So far from this power having been delegated to Congress, it was expressly refused by the Convention which framed the Constitution. It appears from the proceedings of that body that on the 31st May, 1787, the clause ' authorizing an exertion of the force of the whole against a delinquent State" came up for consideration. Mr. Madison opposed it in a brief but powerful speech, from which I shall extract but a single sentence.

He observed: 'The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound. '

Even today in New Hampshire state constitution people have to right succession.

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

What if we make them robots but only give them 6 ft extension cords?

They were former Americans

No they were pardoned abd are Americans, so much for knowing a lot about the civil war

Repeating the same argument isn't helping your cause here. Your just making yourself look uneducated and foolish

Good story. Thanks for sharing.

Well you do say that it's "state" sponsored and Confederates were certainly not traitors to their "state".

Also because the Civil War was a little bit more complicated than that. "Traitor" is a pretty loaded word and calling Confederates traitors doesn't really prove anything.

You are welcome to your opinion.

By that logic there shouldnt be any statues of American figures since we all rebelled against Great Britain, and thus we are all Traitors

Were they traitors in desiring to leave a union, that up until that time, was absolutely and universally understood to be a voluntary one?

I suppose your cowardly downvote is all the answer I need. Wimp

So what? They graduated from US military academies. They become some of the greatest military minds in US history that's still taught at the academies. They also fought for the US in other wars. The college weighed all of this and made their decision.

If they wanted to, then sure. I'm not the one getting upset over statues.

That has nothing to do with what I said.

Depends is the US government going declare you an American war vet after you fail? Everyone who fought in the Civil War on both sides was given the same status and privileges as any other American veterans.

And they were pardoned

There is no Lee statue at VMI AFAIK

It isn't that simple because back then state loyalty was pretty important, so you can argue that they were loyal to their state.

Not condoning any past actions but please, don't dumb it down so much.

Who fucking cares?

You may not know this but Infantry Attacks by Irwin Rommell is pretty much standard reading for new infantry officers and some NCO's. There was a brigade commander in the first gulf war that had a picture of Rommell in his Bradley as a pioneer of armored warfare.

You can respect the legitimate achievements of your enemies without worshipping them.

Many of the confederate generals not only made large leaps in military tactics but also served the united states before and after the civil war honorably.

You do understand that after WW2 America took many Nazi officers and scientists and brought them here to the US, and we used them to build weapons of mass destruction and also used their practices to create what is now the CIA. You do understand we took many pages from Hitler's playbook and we still use them today? Should we get rid of the CIA and our nuclear program among other things because they came from the Nazis?

You are a special snowflake that has their feelings hurt because not everyone sides with you


Except, I hope this is not just lip service.

Lee actually did a lot for the Union after the war.

He supported President Johnson and talked down a lot of Confederate remnants who wanted to continue fighting. He also supported public schools for freed blacks. [Though, he did oppose allowing them to vote "at this time" due to their lack of education to stave off demagoguery.]

He also famously opposed secession to begin with.

It's important to understand that the "Union" as we see it today didn't really exist until after the Civil War. Individual States were seen as self governing and the US was something of an autonomous collective prior to that.

Lincoln himself directly stated that the war was not about slavery so much as "preserving" the Union. [Establishing the Federal Government as the major central power.]

Most of the Confederate soldiers were too poor to own slaves, knew they never would, and didn't give two shits about the rich assholes that did. They saw the war as defending their home states from an invading power and an attempt to establish their independence from outside rule by Washington.

Another vastly important thing to consider is that monuments are not necessarily celebratory. They are there to serve as reminders.

The Vietnam Memorial is not a patriotic monument. It is intended to be a somber reflection about the cost of war.

It is probably more important to remember bad history than good history. There lessons learned from it are generally more important.

Historical context should be a major factor in whether these monuments remain. If they mark events of historical significance where they were erected, they should remain where they are.

If they are just there to decorate a town square where nothing significant occurred and have no real context or historical value, I see no reason why they shouldn't be removed.

I also would not be opposed to more signage and new plaques explaining that context on the monuments that remain standing.

Fun note: that's basically how the battlefield park in Vicksburg, MS is designed. Confederate and Union monuments are placed along their respective battle lines.

Monuments to racists

I think you mean monument built by people who we think are racists.

it's not helpful to call these people racists, and maybe even not factually accurate from certain points of view, and even if that's not true. Saying those things helps nobody.

did anything before WW2 r

And exconfederates fought for the United States after the war whats your point

Because they are Americans who fought for their states and advanced military doctrine

Were those tacticians ever (Keyword here) AMERICAN generals, Officers or civilians?

Better hope none of them have artillery...

Well George Washington was a traitor who kept slaves. Should his grave be pissed on too?

Or is it too much to ask that memorials to the dead be treated with respect?

The problem is that's not entirely true. Most of them were erected when Civil War veterans were starting to die off. That's usually when war memorials start to go up. The WWII memorial on the national mall only went up in recent years as WWII vets started to die off.

Sure, if they wish to do so. Doesn't matter

There were many great tacticians in Nazi Germany. Should VMI honor them as well?

Godwins law got invoked very quickly here.

I honestly don't know but I assume the VMI gets at least some of it's funding on a state level.

If you want to call Confederates "traitors" for wanting to leave the Union then you can just as easily call the Union "tyrants" for trying to stop them.

It proves nothing.

The entire nation was born in rebellion in the first place anyway.

He's gotten multiple replies and uses the same comments. THis has to be a troll or he likes to copy and paste his arguments.

This is one of the few contexts, as well as national military parks, where it seems reasonable to me to keep them. They are well-known generals, many in more wars than the Civil. I don't want to see traitors who fought for slavery celebrated in town squares, but seeing generals recognized at a military institute is more understandable.

You are welcome to your opinions.

I called the people being commemorated by the monuments racist. As in the leaders of the confederacy.

I get that, I just feel that is a bit much viewed through a modern lenses. Since it's neither helpful nor historically accurate relatively speaking. I wouldn't say they were bastions of tolerance and understanding. But they sure were not the worst examples in the last 150 years.

If I had to use any term, that was more accurate they lived within a society that based class structure not only on wealth like today but also on race, not that uncommon throughout the 1800's in any European societies.

No. Because west point wasn't an academy yet, it was a base under his command and had a plot to surrender it, but his plan was foiled. He was a bumbling military man who was passed over time and time again. He was butt hurt. But they should erect a monument for John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams for stopping Major André and uncovering the whole plot.

If you're going to put up a Jackson Statue Lexington and VMI, in particular, is probably the place that makes the most sense apart from a battlefield.

I think it should be a local issue. I mean I looked it up and we have like 7 statues of fucking Vladimir Lenin in the USA. Some communities just have dumb statues. Let them have them and remove them if they want to. Don't get yourself worked up over a statue of someone you hate being up halfway across the country. Conversely, don't get yourself worked up and drive a car over someone because a statue of someone you like is being taken down halfway across the country.

Welp looks like my uncle with the Volkswagen has to get rid of it.

You're also forgetting that the "other wars" they fought in were mostly near-genocidal and absolutely shameful wars against Native Americans and Mexicans.

It was still wars fighting for the US. Most of the wars at that time were for claiming territory and killing those who currently own it.

They should not be celebrated just because they were smart on the battle field.

At a military college, it's pretty relevant.

If you're going to have a statue to these people, then you ought to have a plaque or something that tells the TRUTH about history

That's exactly what they're considering.

They honor men who acted in the interest of their state and fought for what they believe in, despite betraying the Union and supporting a practice that was slowly becoming unacceptable. It's understandable for a state to hold onto the memory of those who defended it, and it's even better that they are adding context to the statues that admits to the flaws of such men.

So the two spikes are around when Civil War veterans started dying and around the hundredth anniversary of the war.

Really not that unusual.

Because after the war all veterans of the civil war were given the same status and privileges as any other American veterans. Confederate soldiers are considered American war vets and had all the same rights as Union veterans including a military funeral.

Virginia was part of the Confederacy. Let's shut it down too!

No, they're being honored for their skill as American generals.

To have men who committed the ultimate act of treason by engaging in combat with the US military honored seems hypocritical and insulting.

They were not and never have been considered traitors. Confederate veterans are considered to be US veterans. And prior to the Civil War, it had never been decided that states couldn't secede.

Maybe we should start ticketing people for cursing like the movie Demolition Man.

Would you feel better then?

That was the general reason behind them being placed--to remind black Americans they were not allowed to vote, that violence had been used and would continue to be used by white people to keep black people down.

I'm sorry but that's a real stretch.

Hundreds of thousands of dead and this is the "general reason" behind any memorial?

You are trying to relitigate the civil war. Ues pardons was the best action that could have been taken

If you had half the country behind you, maybe!


I don't find the Traitor argument very appealing. Civil Wars are by their very nature forcing people to pick between conflicting loyalties and at the end of the day what ultimately matters is likely where you live and how long you have lived there. Regardless of what choice Jackson made he was going to be a traitor to someone, and the choice he made didn't force him to fight against his own family and neighbors. He also wasn't in the military at the time, so he stands on relatively better grounds than someone like Lee who resigned his commission likely knowing full well that he would fight against the United States.

A much better argument to make about why we should or shouldn't have statues of Confederate leaders revolves around slavery

It's been explained to you many times why your use of the word traitor and treason is factually incorrect. Yes, I know it "feels" correct to you, but it has been explained several times and very clearly.


At this point, it's painfully obvious to anyone with a lick of sense that you have an agenda that you are pushing.

Better destroy statues of native americans then, we shouldn't commemorate those packs of losers.

VMI and Washington&Lee are two different schools.

Spoken like someone with zero insight into the actual history of the Civil War. clap clap Spoiler: there's more to it than everyone fighting to retain slavery. Not all in the South approved of slavery, despite fighting for the South, because it was about more than that issue.

I think the Civil War is a little more complicated than just "slavery" and it's very misleading to try and frame it solely in this way.

Besides it's more than likely that Washington would have resisted if anybody had tried to free his slaves, it's just that nobody ever did.

Trying to claim that one slave owner has a "whole ideology about enslaving people" and another is "known for other things" is a little dishonest don't you think?

Lee and Jackson fought in the Mexican American war, and both did so very effectively, but both would have been dead for the Spanish-American War and not born for the French-Indian war. You might be thinking of Lee's father Light Horse Harry Lee, who served in the Revolutionary War and was sadly nearly beaten to death by a Republican mob on the eve of the War of 1812. The Lee family is a very old and distinguished Virginia family

And they are also American war veterans

How many of the Jim Crown era "fuck you" statues were erected at military colleges? Maybe a few due to passive-aggressive alumni, but I thought most of the offensive installations were in parks.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to leave monuments of notable soldiers intact in a military school, especially if the school follows through on including more context about why each monument is there in the first place. A placard or something wouldn't be difficult to add. Not too different from keeping them in a museum.

Not going to lie, this much media coverage and public outrage over every Confederate monument in the country isn't accomplishing anything important, and it's distracting from more pressing social issues. The media needs to calm the fuck down over this issue.

By all means, try to get statues removed if they only exist because some rich fuck in the 1950s was salty about civil rights, but this is not a hill to die on.