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Editorial: Stop commemorating the Confederacy

In support of Sen. Glazer's call for removing symbols from public spaces

In the wake of the hate-fueled white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Va., our local State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) is renewing Senate Joint Resolution 15, which he originally presented last year calling on the U.S. Congress and the president to remove symbols honoring Confederate political and military leaders from federal public buildings and parks.

"The sight of people carrying torches, swastika banners and Confederate flags -- rallying against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee -- was a reminder that we have so much more to do to bring Americans together," Glazer said in a statement announcing the resolution renewal last week.

"Any movement that includes Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists needs to be treated as a threat to our long-held principles of diversity, equality and opportunity for all," he added.

We stand by Glazer in his renewed call.

The movement to remove Confederate monuments gained traction after a photo was published showing Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of a deadly 2015 shooting in a black church in Charleston, S.C., posing with a Confederate flag.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently reported there are more than 700 monuments commemorating the Confederacy in the United States, with most being in the states that made up the Confederacy, and none being found in California. The report also shows more than 1,500 places and highways honoring the Confederacy or its leaders in the U.S.-- including the Jefferson Davis Highway that runs through Southern California -- and more than 100 schools.

Thanks to Sen. Glazer, there are two fewer schools on this list.

In 2015, Glazer authored a bill that proposed banning state public buildings, parks, schools, highways or roads from being named in honor of Confederate leaders, and requiring their removal from any existing public places. The bill was approved by both legislative houses and vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who cited local control concerns.

However, Glazer and others implored two school districts in Southern California to remove Robert E. Lee's name from their elementary schools, which they did. He also reached out at that time to the mayor of North Coast city Fort Bragg, but the residents there wouldn't consider changing the name of the city then -- or now.

These monuments paying homage to Civil War generals were primarily installed decades after the Civil War during the "Jim Crow era" of state and local laws regarding racial segregation in the South. The timing speaks more of intimidation than honor or even education.

Earlier this year, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer voted against removing the Lee statue that sparked the protest Aug. 12, but he has since changed his mind, calling statues of Civil War generals "twisted totems."

"You are changing history," President Donald Trump said when speaking of the removal of Confederate monuments last week.

Removing these statues and symbols is not changing history; it is denouncing the ideology of the Confederacy, which, unfortunately, lingers and is as destructive now as when the monuments were installed.

We agree with Glazer that, "A full discussion of the Civil War and Confederate military and political leaders should be included in our history books," as he said in his statement.

But a place of honor is not appropriate for these symbols. A museum is a better alternative, where they can be used to educate about a shameful part of America's past. While these symbols remain in front of our public buildings and in our parks and city centers, the malice that created the Confederacy is a present danger, not history.

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Comments

25 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 7:27 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Stop demonizing the Confederacy. They did what they thought was right. The statutes should stay.

Robert E. Lee is a hero. He was a good man. Yes, he fought for slavery. Yes, slavery is bad. So what? That doesn’t eclipse all the good he did. You don’t tear down a statute just because a man has flaws.

You liberals get all worked up over slavery.

You know what’s worse than slavery? Killing people. That’s what Lincoln did. He STARTED a war. He could have chosen peace. Instead he chose to kill Americans. That’s worse than slavery.

Yet you guys built a statute to him. Lincoln wasn’t a hero. His plan was to ship all the slaves back to Africa. He was as racist as they come.

You make a big deal about the Confederate statutes being built decades after the Civil War.

So what? The gob dam Lincoln Memorial wasn’t built until 1922 either, so shut your trap.


12 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

By Herman's insane logic, we should then have a statue of Emporer Hirohito at Pearl Harbor, and a big ole' tribute to Bin Laden at the Pentagon. I mean, they were just doing what they thought was right, just like Herman said, right?


22 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 8:39 am

I suggest Sen. Steve Glazer to join ISIS. Then he can freely demolish the old monuments just because he thinks those represented by the monuments were infidels. He can then burn all the books written about those people, and rewrite the history his own way. After all, why should we learn about history? Isn't it fun to repeat it?


11 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

Last time I looked, the precipitating event of the Civil War was the attack of South Carolina on Fort Sumpter. So Lincoln didn't "START a war". The Confederate Constitution explicitly protected slavery. The U.S Constitution did not. The Confederacy as an institution should not be celebrated and, as someone who has lived in the South, that's mostly what these monuments do.


9 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:37 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

So the Southerners were just like Hirohito and Bin Laden, eh?

Really???

What is wrong with our educational system?

Why do Liberals have such a warped view of reality?

And yes, Lincoln did start the war. He could have chosen sanctions, economic isolation, reconciliation, or other responses. War was the response Lincoln chose. He chose to kill.

Fort Sumter was on Southern soil. The South told the North to get out, as was their right, but the North wouldn’t leave Fort Sumter, so the South evicted them. In response, the North chose to declare war and invaded the South and mercilessly and brutally killed innocent people.

As an analogy, it would be as if the United States decided to withdraw from the UN, telling the UN to leave UN offices in New York City and in response the UN declared war on the US.


17 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:40 am

@Herman - Try to make an argument instead of an attack. Your statements are nonsensical.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:57 am

More Herman insanity...how hilarious.

One question...who shot first? No alternate facts, please.


29 people like this
Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 10:02 am

It is ironic that the so-called "champions of diversity", i.e., the Democrats, are calling for the removal of all statutes and items named after anyone who was affiliated with the Confederacy. It is also ironic that the Democrats want to squash free speech in their holy land, Berkeley, if they do not agree with the content of the speech.

It is one thing if there was a statute or school named after the KKK or Nazi, but having statutes and schools named after American historical figures is something completely different. Yes, Robert E. Lee had political views that are counter to most current Americans, but over time most of our leaders had some views that are counter to current American views. Remember, it was President Bill Clinton who signed the "In Defense of Marriage Act", outlawing gay marriages. It was Senator Barrack Obama who campaigned for President on a platform that banned gay marriages. It was President FDR who interned Japanese-American citizens solely based on their race. President Washington had slaves. Does that mean that we need to remove all schools, all roads, all statutes, of Washington, FDR, Clinton and Obama?

Do they still teach the First Amendment in school? It use to be the ACLU was consistent in representing everyone, no matter how repugnant their views were, in having the right to express their views.

We are now living in a "witch hunt" era, where it is politically correct to remove all references to anyone who may have had a view that is currently not popular, and to outlaw any free speech if the topic is not in line with the Democrat's playbook. The march in Berkeley was called "Stop the Fascism", well Fascism is exactly what they are doing by silencing the right of free speech, and by attempting to remove all references to anyone who had a view different to theirs.

How do you learn from history if you remove all references to history? By having the statutes, you cause dialog, which use to be a trademark of Americans, to freely and without threat of violence, led to a sharing of opinions. If you simply remove all the statutes, the dialog ends, and the lesson from mistakes of past leaders ends.


2 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 10:22 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Damn straight the South shot first, as was their right. The North had no business being at Fort Sumter. The South gave the North ample time to get out, but the North refused, so the South kicked them out.

Lincoln could’ve let it be at that.

But, no. He decided to kill. Lincoln declared war. And he marshalled an army to bring the South under his control.

Brave men like Robert E. Lee stood up against the Northern invaders and protected the innocent Southern citizens.


10 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 10:26 am

Why is every subject seem to be used as a proxy battle between Democrats and Republicans or Liberals and Conservatives. Statues are more about paying homage than teaching history. The removal of the Charlottesville statue of Lee was a local decision arrived at by a regular governmental process. It was the "Unite the Right" event that used it as a symbol of Nazi/KKK/White Supremacists' cause. So don't tell me this is just about history and free speech.


14 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 10:40 am

@Herman - You talk about the North and the South like they were two different sovereign countries. They were, and are, part of the same country. Fort Sumpter was on U.S soil, not "Southern" soil. South Carolina had no more right to "evict" Fort Sumpter than California has to evict Camp Pendelton. Do you think if California fired on Camp Pendelton that the U.S. Government should or would just impose sanctions?


20 people like this
Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

I am normally a fan of State Sen. Glazer, especially on fiscal-responsibility issues, but I tend to think he should stick to issues related to California. It is one thing if he is wanting the federal government to remove Confederate names from federal facilities and properties WITHIN California, but the article doesn't say that, and seems to imply that the resolution is asking for removal from all federal government properties, throughout the country. (If this isn't true, then the article needs clarification.)

I was also interested to see that there are apparently very few things in California named after famous Confederate people, so this seems like mostly a non-issue for Californians. But perhaps there is merit in stirring things up to unite us....

The article did mention that Glazer has previously asked the mayor of Ft. Bragg, CA to consider changing the name of the town, which also seems like it is a "none of your business, Sen. Glazer" issue. Apparently the original US military facility WAS named after Braxton Bragg, but this occurred in 1857, well before the Civil War. During the Civil War, the military facility was garrisoned by a company of the 2nd Regiment, California Infantry, part of the Union Army. It is interesting to note that no one in the US military (Union side) thought it necessary at that time to change the name of the military post, despite the fact it was now named after an actual enemy (Confederate) general.... (Ft. Bragg wasn't incorporated as a town until 1889.)

I guess we are all more sensitive these days, to all slights, both real and imagined. But if the Union Army was OK with it being Ft. Bragg DURING the Civil War, I am OK with the town keeping the name.

Of greater interest to Californians will be the upcoming calls to remove everything related to Father (now Saint, as of 2015) Junipero Serra, for alleged abuses (or destroying of culture) of the Native American population. This WILL be an issue, given the prevalence of things named after Serra, as well as statues. Then we may have to deal with things named after the Railroad barons who (no doubt) abused Chinese immigrant laborers during the building of the transcontinental railroad line(s). (This includes Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker.)

This starts to get a bit tricky....


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

States have every right to succeed from the union. They are sovereign entities, son. Did you not learn that in grammar school?

The union was like a bad marriage that didn’t work out. The South tried to divorce. Lincoln, like a jilted husband, hunted down the South and forced her back, under threat of death.

Let me ask you something. Do you think the South would’ve joined the union in the first place had they known that the North would send soldiers down to kill their citizens?


6 people like this
Posted by Billy G. Gruff
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 11:10 am

Removed because it was disrespectful of another poster and off topic.


17 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 11:16 am

I hate to disabuse you of this but, while the states are sovereign in various ways under the constitution, they do not have the right to unilaterally secede. What they could or would have done before adopting the Constitution is speculative and irrelevant at this point.


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 11:50 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Oh, so the constitution says the states don’t have the right to secede.

Hmmm. I must’ve missed that part.

I’m sure you can show me where it says that in the constitution.

Go ahead.

I’ll wait.


7 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

are you re ligating the civil war? really? Way past time to move on.

And, rarely known fact, most of the 'monuments' that were erected were done so 100 years later right around civil rights movement. Hmmmm.....


8 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Mike is a registered user.

I guess I know where you are going with this, that any right not enumerated for the U.S. is reserved to the states. However, that right doesn't extend to nullifying Constitution itself by abrogating it. There is a process for changing the constitution. It requires approval of 3/4 of the states.


3 people like this
Posted by LDM
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm

LDM is a registered user.

IF it is "unconstitutional" for states to secede,then what is all of this claptrap about "Calexit"???? So,what is good for the goose,is not for the gander??

I too really like Sen. Glazer but now,I'm not so sure.He may be a DINO but he counts for a supermajority in Sacramento. A supermajority that has taken away 58% of CA registered voters their choice........


Like this comment
Posted by LDM
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

LDM is a registered user.

Also,think about this: WHERE does it end? There seems to be a worldwide uproar ( this is IF it's true) about Gandhi, Lord Nelson,etc. statues being removed. Because culture,tastes and God help us the NEED to be PC,are always changing,where does it end?

Seems to me that one solution could be that each state/town,whichever is comfortable and has the $$$ set aside a piece of land and put ALL the statues/memorabilia there.


3 people like this
Posted by hamilton
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm

hamilton is a registered user.

I think many are ignorant of history. I have queried local high schools students for years about our history. Perhaps their parents are ignorant as well.

Just in case any of you do not know, the Confederacy lost the war! They were considered traitors to the Federal Government of the United States of America. The slaves were set free. To continue to celebrate them by having their statues in public places is an insult to African Americans. Simply stop it!


10 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Rick is a registered user.

Our history is inexorably tied to our present. The virtue vultures trying to obliterate history - rather than learn from it - allow their emotions to overcome their intellect (assuming such is even available - for purposes of illustration, we'll assume intellect is present in those who seek to erase history because it's, well, 'oh so icky').

Furthermore, we must not rationalize vices into virtues. On the contrary. Slavery is contemptible and illegitimate under any/all circumstances. Tearing down Confederate statues and removing Confederate-sympathizer names from schools is no different than the book burning so fancied by fascists, communists and statists of old and the evolving modern-day fascist (see any lib/prog/MSM-sponsored Antifa combatants) or ask many modern-day statist [retro] progressives.

Why do we always replace critical thinking with critical speech and inefficacious mindlessness?


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris_SR
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

Chris_SR is a registered user.

Herman Glades:

"Brave men like Robert E. Lee stood up against the Northern invaders and protected the innocent Southern citizens"

Innocent southern citizens? I guess slaves weren't people right?

"And, rarely known fact, most of the 'monuments' that were erected were done so 100 years later right around civil rights movement. Hmmmm....."

Not so rare fact the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was needed to ensure that all Americans could exercise their right to vote. In 1957 only about 20% of blacks were even registered to vote.


Like this comment
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Aug 29, 2017 at 11:15 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Robert E. Lee defended everyone in the South from the Northern invaders, including the slaves.

Yes, it is too bad that the United States, like every single country that has ever existed, has denied certain basic civil liberties to certain segments of its population. That ain’t a U.S. problem. That’s a mankind problem.

You know what’s even worse than that? We needed people like Robert E. Lee to defend people from a blood thirsty army determined to inflict death.

You go ahead and tell yourself that your war was justified if that makes you feel better.

But let me tell you something son, killing ain’t right.

We need more statutes of courageous people like Robert E. Lee.

Don’t let the liberals remove the statutes in an attempt to whitewash the horrors inflicted by big government.


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