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This Thread Will Go Down in [History]

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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Cross-posting from D&D

    So let's talk about Confederate statues or the lack of them thereof, particularly for one Confederate general who was considered the greatest corps commander on either side of the war. He was Robert E. Lee's Old War Horse, his greatest subordinate, someone who should be honored with piles of statues if it was really actually about glory on the battlefield, right? This general was James Longstreet, and this is the story of why he doesn't have statues erected to him.

    384px-James_Longstreet.jpg

    The excuse that's made by the Lost Cause assholes is that it's because of his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg, because supposedly he had disobeyed Lee and/or sabotaged Lee, thus causing the massive defeat that was Pickett's Charge. This is bullshit, because Longstreet had correctly pointed out that the charge would be a disaster for them but, under protest, had executed it as well as he could, though it still lead to defeat which he knew was inevitable because honestly he was a better tactician than Lee. You could say this is part one, the part when he's thrown under the bus so Saint Lee didn't make a mistake, but this is ex post facto justification, made after it was decided to make Lee the Confederate saint who was honorable and could do no wrong and all that BS so someone else had to take the blame for Gettysburg. As for why Longstreet was chosen for a shot in the back...

    ...because after the war, Longstreet did some deep thinking about what he did, what side he had chosen, and realized he had been on the wrong side. Unlike pretty much all the rest of the Confederates, he realized he had been in the wrong and decided that he needed to atone for it and work to repair the damage he had done. Which is to say, he decided that yes, slavery was evil, and oppressing the black population was wrong and he should work towards racial equality and reconciliation. As Longstreet was a very intelligent and effective man he got right on that work. He even joined the Republican party, endorsed Ulysses S. Grant for president, then moved to New Orleans, where he became the head of the state militias (many of which were black militias) and state police, including the fully-integrated municipal police force of New Orleans, the capital of Louisiana after the war. The term 'race traitor' hadn't been invented yet as far as I can tell, so instead, he was labeled 'scalawag.'

    This came to a head at the Battle of Canal Street, aka the Battle of Liberty Place, where the White League, an armed insurrectionist group, attacked the state legislature to install their own government. Longstreet lead the defenders, a badly-outnumbered combination of the integrated city police and black militias. The defenders lost, with Longstreet himself pulled off his horse and shot, though he survived. The White League was only driven out three days later with the arrival of federal troops. The event was later commemorated with this monument:

    360px-NOLAWhiteLeagueMonumentByTracks.jpg

    Let's do a closeup of the inscription.

    736px-One_side_of_the_monument_erected_to_race_prejudice_New_Orleans_Louisiana_1936.jpg

    Uh huh. No mincing words there. On a side note, if you heard about how New Orleans had several Confederate monuments removed in secret one night in April under cover of police snipers, one of those monuments was this one.


    Anyway, after that, with his family fearing for his life and safety, Longstreet ended up moving to Gainesville, ga. He built a farm there and raised turkeys and muscadine grapes. It was successful and he was doing nicely until it somehow just happened to burn to the ground entirely on April 9, 1889 (the 24th anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomattox), a coincidence that surely had nothing to do with arson (but was probably totally arson), the stress of which probably contributed to his wife's death a few months later. After he died, a statue on his former estate was raised
    bbae38f6cc7809c9836f2f40c738dcee?AccessKeyId=E835DA5F7E8C51780957&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
    and that was the only statue he got until very recently. Which yeah, that's nice of them, but Gainesville also has a statue of a chicken in its downtown, for what it's worth. His grave site in Gainesville is a large headstone with a flagpole with the American flag flying.

    642_1067012523.jpg

    Also Gainesville named a couple places for him. In 1998, Longstreet did get an equestrian statue of himself finally, placed at Gettysburg as a memorial. It's a bit odd

    667px-Equestrian_statue_of_James_Longstreet.jpg

    as you'll note, since it's not elevated on a plinth or platform, looming over visitors and looking down at them. He's right at ground level.


    I got the idea about writing about Longstreet after reading this article about the cult of Robert E. Lee, pointing out that the myth of Lee as the honorable Southern gentleman is based entirely on lies, racism, and whitewashing (which is the basis of all southern custom, really) and how Longstreet isn't memorialized. Maybe he should be. If people really, really want a Confederate statue erected, put one up for Longstreet, and mention that after the war, he sought a path of reconciliation instead of strife.

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  • TrippyJingTrippyJing Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously.Registered User regular
  • ChimeraChimera Monster girl with a snek tail and five eyes Bad puns, that's how eye roll. Registered User regular
    So I grew up in a town that has always had a big confederate statue at the center of the town and ever since I was a little girl I always felt weird when I looked at it. I never understood why it existed seeing as how the south not only lost the war, but only briefly had control over Benton County, Arkansas. I also didn't understand why it made no mention of the Union troops who died or the fact that Arkansas had the second most volunteers for the Union Army out of any confederate state (second only to Tennessee I think).

    As I got older I began to learn quite a lot about the civil war in school. The battle of Pea Ridge took place just a few miles from my house, and with in a hour drive or so you would find two other battles that happened (Wilson's Creek and Prairie Grove) and so my local curriculum in elementary and junior high really focused heavily on the Civil War and its effects on my home. I learned the statue was placed during reconciliation and later augmented with a confederate soldier at the top who went on to be the first and only governor that Arkansas had from my county, and that it was placed to try and comfort those confederate sympathizers who were trying to transition back to a life under the rule of the US Government.

    I still never understood though why it was still necessary and standing. If it was able to be augmented to add the governor at the top (which there is no mention of who he is or how important he was on the monument) why could it not be augmented to honor the lives lost on both sides? Why not move it to the national park near by on the confederate side of the battle lines with the other monuments there where it would be appropriate? Why not replace it with a better monument to the man atop since a lot of statue sympathizers point to his non-war significance to the county?

    Recently the debate has been getting very heated. The city, sensing that this would happen one day, sold the monument and the plot of land it inhabits in the park to the daughters of the confederacy to make it nearly impossible to remove. As such it is now a private monument on private land.

    I personally want to see it gone and replaced a general veterans memorial. I doubt that will happen any time soon but it is nice to dream.

    On a related note, my father recently held a large public forum regarding the memorial. He shares the same belief that I do but played a neutral party and started a fairly civil conversation about the monument. Hopefully the discussion will lead to something productive.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    On September 26, 1983, the United States launched several intercontinental ballistic missiles packing an indeterminate number of warheads from its North American missile fields. Their destination was the Soviet Union. It was the long-awaited first strike, to which there could be only one possible response --

    Wait what?

    Okay, let's rewind a bit.

    Maybe shift the viewpoint a little. Recontextualize it.

    The early 1980s were a little tense. The brief thaw of the 1970s had been more or less cast aside as the new Reagan administration was swept into office on an anti-detente platform, and the previous years of (highly relative) calm were replaced with loud, ostentatious bellicosity. Armed forces were expanding all over the place. Half of Asia south of the Soviet border was on fire, including one of the century's largest interstate conflicts, and the superpowers were pretty cavalier about involving themselves wherever they thought they could get an advantage. At the same time, the United States was beginning work on strategic missile defense systems, deploying offensive missiles in Europe, and conducting alarmingly large naval exercises in the northern Pacific.

    As if that wasn't bad enough, on September 1, 1983, a Soviet interceptor shot down a South Korean airliner which had flown off course when flying from Anchorage to Seoul. All aboard the plane were killed, including a member of the House of Representatives who - as if that wasn't bad enough - was also president of the John Birch Society.

    All in all, it was feeling particularly October 1962 out, and many expected a spark to be struck in the wrong place at any moment.

    One of the more yougottabekiddingme things about the Cold War was the extent to which both superpowers were utterly convinced the other would attack first, which caused them to deploy defensively in anticipation of such an attack, which looked to the other guy like preparation for the attack itself, which ... you get the picture. In practice, neither country was seriously prepared to take the first swing at any point in the Cold War, but they spent the entire half century *dead certain* the other side would. And if the other guy did, then by God, we were totally willing to finish it with the second swing, weren't we?

    (This is why missile defense in particular was so alarming. While Reagan - who was genuinely horrified by nuclear weapons - saw missile defense almost purely as a means of shielding cities from warheads, the Soviets saw it as the means to protect against a ragged retaliatory strike in the event that the US fired upon them first. It was proof that the US was planning to attack, adding more utterly convinced to the Soviet side of the strategic mix.)

    So now we're caught up and can try this again.

    It's September 26, 1983, and a Soviet lieutenant colonel by the name of Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was the duty officer at the moment in the Soviets' "Eye" main early missile warning facility. Everything was awful and everyone was angry and the Americans were probably going to attack at some point because of course they were. Petrov's job was pretty much twofold: identify any American launches against the Soviet Union, and give the word to his superiors, who would take his report as a signal to return fire immediately with the Soviet arsenal. The doctrine was called "launch on warning," and could also be described as "don't even make us suspect you're looking at us funny." He was essentially supposed to be a tripwire, with all the initiative of a typical tripwire.

    A little into his watch, the facility reported an ICBM launch from a known missile field in the continental United States. This caused some consternation in the early warning facility, since it pretty much meant the nightmare scenario was arriving: a launch warning from the US was detected, which meant it had to be kicked up the chain, which meant the counterlaunch order would be given. But Petrov hesitated, because there was something weird about it. Why such a small launch? It was one at first, but four to six others were detected in the next few minutes. Sure, they're nuclear missiles, but that's only about a half dozen missiles, and less than two dozen warheads if they were all the new MIRVs. Any real, self-respecting first strike would involve a large portion of the American arsenal: hundreds of missiles with thousands of warheads, probably accompanied by aircraft- and submarine-launched weapons. Going into it piecemeal didn't make sense, since a counterforce retaliatory launch would incinerate the unlaunched warheads in their silos.

    No, Petrov thought, this was something else. This couldn't be a real launch.

    So he refused to pass anything up the chain other than "there's an obvious glitch in our launch detection systems." As warning of a bug in the system is not warning of a launch, that means the Soviets' missiles didn't end up flying; he convinced the brass there was nothing to worry about. (In hindsight, he said later, it felt like a 50/50 chance.)

    And it's for the best that they didn't, since the American missiles hadn't launched either. It turns out what had happened was one of those edge-case flukes: sunlight reflected off clouds in precisely the areas known to Soviet intelligence as missile silo locations, at precisely the time and angle to reflect just enough heat and light to watching satellites to make it look like a missile may have fired at that exact location.

    So it wasn't even a glitch! The system worked exactly as it should have off the data it was being given, correctly identifying a thermal signature of a launch - under conditions that would precisely simulate exactly that.

    Petrov was neither lauded nor badly punished for his technical insubordination. The months after the incident resulted in a lot of heads rolling among the Soviet brass for such a horrifying close call. Some of that got on Petrov in a nominal way - he got reprimanded not for disobeying orders, but for not filling out logbooks that day correctly due to the chaos - and continued on for an otherwise undistinguished career. He left the military the next year for a research job (with the institute which developed the early warning system), and retired altogether some years later to take care of his ailing wife.

    He appeared on the public radar in the mid-to-late nineties, due to a combination of material being declassified and a few of his superiors letting slip what he had done. Oddly enough, he didn't actually get a lot of celebrity for it. There was a period of buzz in the news for a few months, the occasional interview for a movie or documentary (including a 2006 trip to New York where Walter Cronkite interviewed him), but that was about it. The man spent his retirement in obscurity, in a small house near Moscow with his pension, bemused and a little bewildered at the reputation he had in some circles and convinced - absolutely convinced - that he didn't really do anything special.

    Earlier this month, a German activist who'd been in on-and-off touch with Petrov tried to contact him to wish him a happy birthday (September 9, incidentally). Instead he got a hold of Petrov's son Dmitry, who informed him that his father had passed away from pneumonia on May 19, 2017.

    There aren't a lot of people who you can point to and say "this person's actions literally saved the world," but Stanislav Petrov is one of them. If he'd been a little less insistent that something was up, or if he'd been a little more automatic in his reactions, or if another officer had the watch that day, or any of a number of other what-ifs, that one day would very likely have included thousands, if not tens of thousands, of nuclear warheads detonating, and it is far more likely than not that nothing of our civilization would have survived.

    If you're reading this, you owe your life, and those of everyone - everyone - you know, to this one guy.

    Some people need statues, lots of them, all over the place. Petrov was one of them.

    Instead, it took the world four months to find out he's dead.

    For some reason, the general world-threatening insanity of the situation he's known for upsets me less than that does right now.

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Chimera wrote: »
    So I grew up in a town that has always had a big confederate statue at the center of the town and ever since I was a little girl I always felt weird when I looked at it. I never understood why it existed seeing as how the south not only lost the war, but only briefly had control over Benton County, Arkansas. I also didn't understand why it made no mention of the Union troops who died or the fact that Arkansas had the second most volunteers for the Union Army out of any confederate state (second only to Tennessee I think).

    As I got older I began to learn quite a lot about the civil war in school. The battle of Pea Ridge took place just a few miles from my house, and with in a hour drive or so you would find two other battles that happened (Wilson's Creek and Prairie Grove) and so my local curriculum in elementary and junior high really focused heavily on the Civil War and its effects on my home. I learned the statue was placed during reconciliation and later augmented with a confederate soldier at the top who went on to be the first and only governor that Arkansas had from my county, and that it was placed to try and comfort those confederate sympathizers who were trying to transition back to a life under the rule of the US Government.

    I still never understood though why it was still necessary and standing. If it was able to be augmented to add the governor at the top (which there is no mention of who he is or how important he was on the monument) why could it not be augmented to honor the lives lost on both sides? Why not move it to the national park near by on the confederate side of the battle lines with the other monuments there where it would be appropriate? Why not replace it with a better monument to the man atop since a lot of statue sympathizers point to his non-war significance to the county?

    Recently the debate has been getting very heated. The city, sensing that this would happen one day, sold the monument and the plot of land it inhabits in the park to the daughters of the confederacy to make it nearly impossible to remove. As such it is now a private monument on private land.

    I personally want to see it gone and replaced a general veterans memorial. I doubt that will happen any time soon but it is nice to dream.

    On a related note, my father recently held a large public forum regarding the memorial. He shares the same belief that I do but played a neutral party and started a fairly civil conversation about the monument. Hopefully the discussion will lead to something productive.

    Every time I go to downtown Bentonville I keep hoping to see that statue removed. Interestingly there's been yet another small movement for that to happen. Apparently part of the issue is that the aforementioned Daughters of the Confederacy chapter that owns the land and statue folded some decades ago, and nobody's really sure what that means in terms of ownership of the grounds. It'd be nice if it was replaced with a fountain. It's a lovely area and could greatly benefit from not having a statue of a traitor.

    Chimera
  • ChimeraChimera Monster girl with a snek tail and five eyes Bad puns, that's how eye roll. Registered User regular
    Chimera wrote: »
    So I grew up in a town that has always had a big confederate statue at the center of the town and ever since I was a little girl I always felt weird when I looked at it. I never understood why it existed seeing as how the south not only lost the war, but only briefly had control over Benton County, Arkansas. I also didn't understand why it made no mention of the Union troops who died or the fact that Arkansas had the second most volunteers for the Union Army out of any confederate state (second only to Tennessee I think).

    As I got older I began to learn quite a lot about the civil war in school. The battle of Pea Ridge took place just a few miles from my house, and with in a hour drive or so you would find two other battles that happened (Wilson's Creek and Prairie Grove) and so my local curriculum in elementary and junior high really focused heavily on the Civil War and its effects on my home. I learned the statue was placed during reconciliation and later augmented with a confederate soldier at the top who went on to be the first and only governor that Arkansas had from my county, and that it was placed to try and comfort those confederate sympathizers who were trying to transition back to a life under the rule of the US Government.

    I still never understood though why it was still necessary and standing. If it was able to be augmented to add the governor at the top (which there is no mention of who he is or how important he was on the monument) why could it not be augmented to honor the lives lost on both sides? Why not move it to the national park near by on the confederate side of the battle lines with the other monuments there where it would be appropriate? Why not replace it with a better monument to the man atop since a lot of statue sympathizers point to his non-war significance to the county?

    Recently the debate has been getting very heated. The city, sensing that this would happen one day, sold the monument and the plot of land it inhabits in the park to the daughters of the confederacy to make it nearly impossible to remove. As such it is now a private monument on private land.

    I personally want to see it gone and replaced a general veterans memorial. I doubt that will happen any time soon but it is nice to dream.

    On a related note, my father recently held a large public forum regarding the memorial. He shares the same belief that I do but played a neutral party and started a fairly civil conversation about the monument. Hopefully the discussion will lead to something productive.

    Every time I go to downtown Bentonville I keep hoping to see that statue removed. Interestingly there's been yet another small movement for that to happen. Apparently part of the issue is that the aforementioned Daughters of the Confederacy chapter that owns the land and statue folded some decades ago, and nobody's really sure what that means in terms of ownership of the grounds. It'd be nice if it was replaced with a fountain. It's a lovely area and could greatly benefit from not having a statue of a traitor.

    Oh geeze, an Arkie! ...and one from my town! Yes I completely agree with you, though I think a good compromise is a statue that honors the dead of both sides and does not glorify the confederacy. While the confederacy was a traitorous movement that had a foundation in the preservation of slavery, they did have some legitimate concerns about the future of their states and economies. Those who fought on that side were still Americans and should not be forgotten. Hate the cause, love thy brother and sister, honor the dead, never forget the evil that misguided them.

    Now then, I am kinda curious are you from Bentonville and how did you know that is where I meant! Have we met? DO YOU ALSO LOVE KENNEDY COFFEE?!

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    I actually came up this way from south Arkansas by way of New Orleans. Came to the University then landed a career after graduation. I just moved to one of the quasi-autonomous little towns surrounding the ouroboros that is NWA, and as a result I get up to Bentonville far more often these days.

    I have complicated feelings about the American Civil War, and I'm just not convinced there's really a way to properly honor those who died fighting for their beliefs (wrong though half of them were) without also lionizing them. But, literally every town I've ever lived in has had at least one Confederate monument and/or been within spitting distance to a battlefield. Not that I'm saying you're wrong, mind. I'm just grumpy about the subject. I agree it's something that does need to be remembered, but it's a stretch, especially in the south, to try to teach the importance of the conflict without also getting a bunch of folks thinking that "they" lost the war. (Which they did of course, rather I'm getting at the point of people identifying as southern first, and then American.) It's the sort of thing that breeds white supremacy, and big granite statues of dead men who fought for a way of life that completely depended upon owning other people isn't the sort of thing that we need to be implying was acceptable.

    Anyway, this probably isn't the time and place. Just thought it was neat that I read a post about a statue that's maybe eight miles from me right now.

  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    The people who fought for the Confederacy were traitors and were fighting for slavery. That shouldn't be forgotten. They should be remembered the same way Germany remembers Nazis. They should be heinous villains for eternity.

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    I forgot to respond to the coffee part! Kennedy Coffee is pretty good, but I have to confess to being an Onyx Coffee Lab boy.

    Chimera
  • ChimeraChimera Monster girl with a snek tail and five eyes Bad puns, that's how eye roll. Registered User regular
    I actually came up this way from south Arkansas by way of New Orleans. Came to the University then landed a career after graduation. I just moved to one of the quasi-autonomous little towns surrounding the ouroboros that is NWA, and as a result I get up to Bentonville far more often these days.

    I have complicated feelings about the American Civil War, and I'm just not convinced there's really a way to properly honor those who died fighting for their beliefs (wrong though half of them were) without also lionizing them. But, literally every town I've ever lived in has had at least one Confederate monument and/or been within spitting distance to a battlefield. Not that I'm saying you're wrong, mind. I'm just grumpy about the subject. I agree it's something that does need to be remembered, but it's a stretch, especially in the south, to try to teach the importance of the conflict without also getting a bunch of folks thinking that "they" lost the war. (Which they did of course, rather I'm getting at the point of people identifying as southern first, and then American.) It's the sort of thing that breeds white supremacy, and big granite statues of dead men who fought for a way of life that completely depended upon owning other people isn't the sort of thing that we need to be implying was acceptable.

    Anyway, this probably isn't the time and place. Just thought it was neat that I read a post about a statue that's maybe eight miles from me right now.

    I respect your opinion and having mostly grown up in the south I hear what you're saying. I think this thread, since it is about history and this is an important topic of it, is a great place to discuss this subject. I also appreciate your response in its civility and tactfulness. This is a discussion that can get quite heated where we live so it's nice to have a discussion that does not devolve into name calling and attacks on ones self.

    Well the issue was that the south did not have the manpower nor the income to support said manpower to operate the almost exclusively agricultural based economy that was in place before the war. For the north it was easier to move away from slavery because it had become a luxury that was mostly afforded by the rich and used in place of paid servants where as in the south slavery was used in a manor more akin to farm equipment like a tractor or a mule pulling a plow. I completely agree that in both instances it is wrong, but a solution was not being presented to the south that would assure they would not see ruin in the wake of sudden and immediate dismissal of a system which the south is based on. Furthermore outside of the land owners, much of the south was already poor and severely under educated. This lead to resentment against the stereotypical vision that the north was rich and saw themselves as superior both financially and mentally. This was in turn taken advantage of by the powerful plantation owners who were the root of the cause for the plight of those in destitution in the south. The plantation holders took an argument about slavery and then turned it into an attack on the south its self beyond just that of the loss of slaves. It was this that rallied many southerns to join the call to seceded and then take up arms for a cause that was unjust, patriotic, and inhuman.

    The issue we have now is that most of the memorials that exist still to some degree either glorify the south as a separate nation, the cause for which gave the south a feeling of righteous justification in their actions under the ruse of "heritage," or some combination of the two. Little is done to actually memorialize the human cost of the conflict and teach what lead to tragedy that was the civil war. Making every common rebel soldier the enemy or pushing a claim that they should be forgotten simply because they fought for the losing side or for a cause that was flawed and evil does just as much do divide as leaving the monuments in place that currently glorify the confederacy and its leaders. Rather, monuments and memorials to the loss of the common Americans in the conflict will do much to help remind us of what was lost and why it cannot be lost again. Those who fought for the confederacy did not suddenly cease being Americans, and once the war was over they were exactly that, still Americans. To segregate them as second class in history for not being the victor is just as dangerously polarizing as the conditions that sparked the war. This is why during reconciliation we allowed the monuments to be built.

    Pride in one's home is important. The south lost all of that at the end of the war. It is fine to say that they should have sacrificed the notion of an independent south or sacrificed pride for their state in favor of the nation at large but that flies in the face of how our country was built and is structured to this day. We are a union of states, unique and equal to one another. It is even in our name that we are the United States. It is very possible for one to have pride in their nation as a whole AND the region and state in which they were born in. I feel that we should redirect those feelings of pride away from the false glory that was the cause of the confederacy and push it to more meaningful and productive aspects of the south and in turn memorialize the cost of the Americans that died on BOTH sides so that we look back and know the cost of repeating such a misguided and foolish endeavor is far to heavy a price to pay for the sake of preserving our nation and the lives of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Build memorials to the dead of both sides and focus our education of our children to teach why the confederacy was wrong and how it came to be so that we may not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

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  • ChimeraChimera Monster girl with a snek tail and five eyes Bad puns, that's how eye roll. Registered User regular
    I forgot to respond to the coffee part! Kennedy Coffee is pretty good, but I have to confess to being an Onyx Coffee Lab boy.

    When I last lived in NWA Onyx had been getting their beans from Kennedy! I do like Onyx's location and vibe better but their seating can get a bit stiff to sit on after a while, I wish they had better chairs.

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Chimera wrote: »
    I actually came up this way from south Arkansas by way of New Orleans. Came to the University then landed a career after graduation. I just moved to one of the quasi-autonomous little towns surrounding the ouroboros that is NWA, and as a result I get up to Bentonville far more often these days.

    I have complicated feelings about the American Civil War, and I'm just not convinced there's really a way to properly honor those who died fighting for their beliefs (wrong though half of them were) without also lionizing them. But, literally every town I've ever lived in has had at least one Confederate monument and/or been within spitting distance to a battlefield. Not that I'm saying you're wrong, mind. I'm just grumpy about the subject. I agree it's something that does need to be remembered, but it's a stretch, especially in the south, to try to teach the importance of the conflict without also getting a bunch of folks thinking that "they" lost the war. (Which they did of course, rather I'm getting at the point of people identifying as southern first, and then American.) It's the sort of thing that breeds white supremacy, and big granite statues of dead men who fought for a way of life that completely depended upon owning other people isn't the sort of thing that we need to be implying was acceptable.

    Anyway, this probably isn't the time and place. Just thought it was neat that I read a post about a statue that's maybe eight miles from me right now.

    I respect your opinion and having mostly grown up in the south I hear what you're saying. I think this thread, since it is about history and this is an important topic of it, is a great place to discuss this subject. I also appreciate your response in its civility and tactfulness. This is a discussion that can get quite heated where we live so it's nice to have a discussion that does not devolve into name calling and attacks on ones self.

    Well the issue was that the south did not have the manpower nor the income to support said manpower to operate the almost exclusively agricultural based economy that was in place before the war. For the north it was easier to move away from slavery because it had become a luxury that was mostly afforded by the rich and used in place of paid servants where as in the south slavery was used in a manor more akin to farm equipment like a tractor or a mule pulling a plow. I completely agree that in both instances it is wrong, but a solution was not being presented to the south that would assure they would not see ruin in the wake of sudden and immediate dismissal of a system which the south is based on. Furthermore outside of the land owners, much of the south was already poor and severely under educated. This lead to resentment against the stereotypical vision that the north was rich and saw themselves as superior both financially and mentally. This was in turn taken advantage of by the powerful plantation owners who were the root of the cause for the plight of those in destitution in the south. The plantation holders took an argument about slavery and then turned it into an attack on the south its self beyond just that of the loss of slaves. It was this that rallied many southerns to join the call to seceded and then take up arms for a cause that was unjust, patriotic, and inhuman.

    The issue we have now is that most of the memorials that exist still to some degree either glorify the south as a separate nation, the cause for which gave the south a feeling of righteous justification in their actions under the ruse of "heritage," or some combination of the two. Little is done to actually memorialize the human cost of the conflict and teach what lead to tragedy that was the civil war. Making every common rebel soldier the enemy or pushing a claim that they should be forgotten simply because they fought for the losing side or for a cause that was flawed and evil does just as much do divide as leaving the monuments in place that currently glorify the confederacy and its leaders. Rather, monuments and memorials to the loss of the common Americans in the conflict will do much to help remind us of what was lost and why it cannot be lost again. Those who fought for the confederacy did not suddenly cease being Americans, and once the war was over they were exactly that, still Americans. To segregate them as second class in history for not being the victor is just as dangerously polarizing as the conditions that sparked the war. This is why during reconciliation we allowed the monuments to be built.

    Pride in one's home is important. The south lost all of that at the end of the war. It is fine to say that they should have sacrificed the notion of an independent south or sacrificed pride for their state in favor of the nation at large but that flies in the face of how our country was built and is structured to this day. We are a union of states, unique and equal to one another. It is even in our name that we are the United States. It is very possible for one to have pride in their nation as a whole AND the region and state in which they were born in. I feel that we should redirect those feelings of pride away from the false glory that was the cause of the confederacy and push it to more meaningful and productive aspects of the south and in turn memorialize the cost of the Americans that died on BOTH sides so that we look back and know the cost of repeating such a misguided and foolish endeavor is far to heavy a price to pay for the sake of preserving our nation and the lives of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Build memorials to the dead of both sides and focus our education of our children to teach why the confederacy was wrong and how it came to be so that we may not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

    This is a nuanced point that is well taken. I've always been struck by the relationship between the south and the north in the 19th century. To be a bit reductive, the economy largely relied upon the textile industry. The raw materials, cotton chief among them, were grown in the south due to a mixture of superior soil, weather conducive to large scale farming, lower population densities, and of course the very large number of slaves already present. These materials were then transported north to the much more heavily industrialized and populous cities where they were turned into finished products and then exported. So there was a very important economic relationship between northern states and southern ones.

    Go to the global level, and this was a real problem. The entire economy of the south depended upon slave labor. Additionally, as you point out, the vast majority of slaves were owned by the socially elite. The huge plantations we usually think of when we think of these times were the domains of the wealthy, not the common man. The rich profited enormously off the literal backs of the people they owned. But when the attitude of slavery was changing throughout the late eighteenth and into the nineteenth centuries in Europe, the Americans began to face the same choice. The morality of slavery was debated endlessly, and we all know how this turns out. But the issue was that these wealthy southern slaveholders were fully aware of which way the wind was blowing. And rather than face the music and figure out a way to carve out a chunk of the new economic model they'd inevitably have to adopt, they chose war.

    As you mention, these wealthy men spun it very well. They made it into a conflict about not slavery, but how the north was attacking "our way of life" (here meaning owning people was super cool and good). Of course this inflamed passions. Of course this got southern state after southern state thinking that maybe it'd be better to go it alone and have their own nation. A foolish proposition from the start, of course. The south's economic base was nearly completely agrarian and they'd necessarily have to depend on foreign trade, which requires a large amount of shipping and an armed navy to protect it. None of which they had.

    Anyway, enough of me blathering about economics. The south was wrong in nearly every way it's possible to be wrong. Though their wrongness was in part due to the rich men of the era being super worried about how to make money in a world where owning people wasn't acceptable. I agree that it's possible to honor the events as they were, and the people who died, in a way that isn't incredibly distasteful. I have yet to see such, but I think it could be done.

    I'm almost certainly wrong about at least a couple things that I've talked about here and will certainly appreciate input from others. This era is not one that I've studied all that closely, largely due to the disdain I have for the confederacy in general, so I'm almost certainly glossing over something or just straight up wrong about something.

    cB557
  • ChimeraChimera Monster girl with a snek tail and five eyes Bad puns, that's how eye roll. Registered User regular
    Chimera wrote: »
    I actually came up this way from south Arkansas by way of New Orleans. Came to the University then landed a career after graduation. I just moved to one of the quasi-autonomous little towns surrounding the ouroboros that is NWA, and as a result I get up to Bentonville far more often these days.

    I have complicated feelings about the American Civil War, and I'm just not convinced there's really a way to properly honor those who died fighting for their beliefs (wrong though half of them were) without also lionizing them. But, literally every town I've ever lived in has had at least one Confederate monument and/or been within spitting distance to a battlefield. Not that I'm saying you're wrong, mind. I'm just grumpy about the subject. I agree it's something that does need to be remembered, but it's a stretch, especially in the south, to try to teach the importance of the conflict without also getting a bunch of folks thinking that "they" lost the war. (Which they did of course, rather I'm getting at the point of people identifying as southern first, and then American.) It's the sort of thing that breeds white supremacy, and big granite statues of dead men who fought for a way of life that completely depended upon owning other people isn't the sort of thing that we need to be implying was acceptable.

    Anyway, this probably isn't the time and place. Just thought it was neat that I read a post about a statue that's maybe eight miles from me right now.

    I respect your opinion and having mostly grown up in the south I hear what you're saying. I think this thread, since it is about history and this is an important topic of it, is a great place to discuss this subject. I also appreciate your response in its civility and tactfulness. This is a discussion that can get quite heated where we live so it's nice to have a discussion that does not devolve into name calling and attacks on ones self.

    Well the issue was that the south did not have the manpower nor the income to support said manpower to operate the almost exclusively agricultural based economy that was in place before the war. For the north it was easier to move away from slavery because it had become a luxury that was mostly afforded by the rich and used in place of paid servants where as in the south slavery was used in a manor more akin to farm equipment like a tractor or a mule pulling a plow. I completely agree that in both instances it is wrong, but a solution was not being presented to the south that would assure they would not see ruin in the wake of sudden and immediate dismissal of a system which the south is based on. Furthermore outside of the land owners, much of the south was already poor and severely under educated. This lead to resentment against the stereotypical vision that the north was rich and saw themselves as superior both financially and mentally. This was in turn taken advantage of by the powerful plantation owners who were the root of the cause for the plight of those in destitution in the south. The plantation holders took an argument about slavery and then turned it into an attack on the south its self beyond just that of the loss of slaves. It was this that rallied many southerns to join the call to seceded and then take up arms for a cause that was unjust, patriotic, and inhuman.

    The issue we have now is that most of the memorials that exist still to some degree either glorify the south as a separate nation, the cause for which gave the south a feeling of righteous justification in their actions under the ruse of "heritage," or some combination of the two. Little is done to actually memorialize the human cost of the conflict and teach what lead to tragedy that was the civil war. Making every common rebel soldier the enemy or pushing a claim that they should be forgotten simply because they fought for the losing side or for a cause that was flawed and evil does just as much do divide as leaving the monuments in place that currently glorify the confederacy and its leaders. Rather, monuments and memorials to the loss of the common Americans in the conflict will do much to help remind us of what was lost and why it cannot be lost again. Those who fought for the confederacy did not suddenly cease being Americans, and once the war was over they were exactly that, still Americans. To segregate them as second class in history for not being the victor is just as dangerously polarizing as the conditions that sparked the war. This is why during reconciliation we allowed the monuments to be built.

    Pride in one's home is important. The south lost all of that at the end of the war. It is fine to say that they should have sacrificed the notion of an independent south or sacrificed pride for their state in favor of the nation at large but that flies in the face of how our country was built and is structured to this day. We are a union of states, unique and equal to one another. It is even in our name that we are the United States. It is very possible for one to have pride in their nation as a whole AND the region and state in which they were born in. I feel that we should redirect those feelings of pride away from the false glory that was the cause of the confederacy and push it to more meaningful and productive aspects of the south and in turn memorialize the cost of the Americans that died on BOTH sides so that we look back and know the cost of repeating such a misguided and foolish endeavor is far to heavy a price to pay for the sake of preserving our nation and the lives of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. Build memorials to the dead of both sides and focus our education of our children to teach why the confederacy was wrong and how it came to be so that we may not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

    This is a nuanced point that is well taken. I've always been struck by the relationship between the south and the north in the 19th century. To be a bit reductive, the economy largely relied upon the textile industry. The raw materials, cotton chief among them, were grown in the south due to a mixture of superior soil, weather conducive to large scale farming, lower population densities, and of course the very large number of slaves already present. These materials were then transported north to the much more heavily industrialized and populous cities where they were turned into finished products and then exported. So there was a very important economic relationship between northern states and southern ones.

    Go to the global level, and this was a real problem. The entire economy of the south depended upon slave labor. Additionally, as you point out, the vast majority of slaves were owned by the socially elite. The huge plantations we usually think of when we think of these times were the domains of the wealthy, not the common man. The rich profited enormously off the literal backs of the people they owned. But when the attitude of slavery was changing throughout the late eighteenth and into the nineteenth centuries in Europe, the Americans began to face the same choice. The morality of slavery was debated endlessly, and we all know how this turns out. But the issue was that these wealthy southern slaveholders were fully aware of which way the wind was blowing. And rather than face the music and figure out a way to carve out a chunk of the new economic model they'd inevitably have to adopt, they chose war.

    As you mention, these wealthy men spun it very well. They made it into a conflict about not slavery, but how the north was attacking "our way of life" (here meaning owning people was super cool and good). Of course this inflamed passions. Of course this got southern state after southern state thinking that maybe it'd be better to go it alone and have their own nation. A foolish proposition from the start, of course. The south's economic base was nearly completely agrarian and they'd necessarily have to depend on foreign trade, which requires a large amount of shipping and an armed navy to protect it. None of which they had.

    Anyway, enough of me blathering about economics. The south was wrong in nearly every way it's possible to be wrong. Though their wrongness was in part due to the rich men of the era being super worried about how to make money in a world where owning people wasn't acceptable. I agree that it's possible to honor the events as they were, and the people who died, in a way that isn't incredibly distasteful. I have yet to see such, but I think it could be done.

    I'm almost certainly wrong about at least a couple things that I've talked about here and will certainly appreciate input from others. This era is not one that I've studied all that closely, largely due to the disdain I have for the confederacy in general, so I'm almost certainly glossing over something or just straight up wrong about something.

    Fear and hate are much easier to spin and manipulate to get the desired result than love and compassion is. This is a tactic that has been used countless times to turn a population to insane and evil ideals and complacency for there of. Nazi Germany, The CSA, Trump's Election, etc. Fear and hate has also been utilized to spur actions towards things we see as noble causes. It helped spur action against the Nazis, helped Truman defeat another fear and hate candidate (Goldwater), and got us on the moon! It is a powerful tool that, like the splitting of the atom, is not its self evil but is often used for such when adopted by the wrong party.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    This is a great video about how medieval Europeans walked differently because of the footwear they had



    It could be incorrect! But I love shit like this. Our view of people in the past comes from BBC period dramas and such, and so we often forget just how different things could have been. People thought, moved, ate, spoke and organised their lives so differently and in ways that may be hugely surprising! History is awesome

    MayabirdcB557Slacker71
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    what is up with that dick ornament thing he is wearing

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  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    Al_wat wrote: »
    what is up with that dick ornament thing he is wearing

    The tres chic thing back then

  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    I want one

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Al_wat wrote: »
    what is up with that dick ornament thing he is wearing

    Looks like the same kind of idea as a sporran. Possibly the sporran is just the scottish regional version of a common item since they probably didn't have modern pockets.

  • UrielUriel Registered User regular
    I have a natural instinct to walk on the ball of my foot still and it takes a large amount of effort to walk heel to toe for me a lot of time especially if I'm wearing my cheaper old shoes that don't fit right!

    Mayabird
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I'm gonna put this here instead of the book thread because I think it might appeal to y'all more.

    The First Woman to Translate The Odyssey into English

    Emily Wilson has a new translation of The Odyssey out next week, and it sounds really good. The article also has an extended segment about the difficulty of translating the Greek word polytropos (which is the very first description of Odysseus, appearing in the first line of the poem) that I found absolutely fascinating. I love the Fagles translation of it, because I overall love his work, but the secondary option that Wilson provides in the interview is absolutely genius.

    Translation, especially of older works, is a really interesting field, and crazy difficult to actually do with any sort of grace. And translating something like The Odyssey, which has been translated hundreds of times before, it gets into some really interesting territory.

    tynicDisruptedCapitalistL Ron HowardSkeithcB557intropsarukun
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2017
    I saw the opening of that translation on twitter! It was fantastic.

    The other Odyssey-adjacent works which I love are The Lost Books of the Odyssey, which isn't so much a translation as a set of stand-alone Homer-inspired tales and scenes, or re-imagining of parts of the Odyssey from other points of view, and the little excerpts Reginald Hill puts in Arms and the Women, which imagines Odysseus as a fat foul-mouthed wily yorkshire arsehole, and are fantastic.

    tynic on
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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Oooh, I'm going to need to check that out.

    You should check out Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, if you're into that sort of thing, it's a real interesting take

    tynicFencingsax
  • valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    The people who fought for the Confederacy were traitors and were fighting for slavery. That shouldn't be forgotten. They should be remembered the same way Germany remembers Nazis. They should be heinous villains for eternity.

    Did we continue hating the Germans who fought in the Wermacht during WWII? I'll give the poor of the South a pass on this, since they were being manipulated into it, but the rich plantation owners who owned the slaves, manipulated the southern class system in their favor, and started the war are on par with Benedict Arnold, the Nazis and the SS to me.

  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I feel like Benedict Arnold, the man who didn't betray his country, is a weird person to include with that lot

  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I feel like Benedict Arnold, the man who didn't betray his country, is a weird person to include with that lot

    Generally speaking flipping sides that way counts as being a traitor.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I feel like Benedict Arnold, the man who didn't betray his country, is a weird person to include with that lot

    Generally speaking flipping sides that way counts as being a traitor.

    Realistically, his political rivals should share that fate and more. General Gates was traitor three times over. Once for intentionally trying to sabotage Arnold's battles and career during and after Saratoga, once for abandoning his post at Trenton, and once for trying and supplant the commander in chief, which was why he left Trenton before the battle.

    RMS Oceanic
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I feel like Benedict Arnold, the man who didn't betray his country, is a weird person to include with that lot

    Generally speaking flipping sides that way counts as being a traitor.

    Fair. I've always felt that Arnold gets a bit of a bum rap (in the States at least - I have no idea how he's discussed/if he's discussed elsewhere), and I maintain that comparing him to the SS is pretty extreme.

    cB557Gvzbgul
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    The people who fought for the Confederacy were traitors and were fighting for slavery. That shouldn't be forgotten. They should be remembered the same way Germany remembers Nazis. They should be heinous villains for eternity.

    Did we continue hating the Germans who fought in the Wermacht during WWII? I'll give the poor of the South a pass on this, since they were being manipulated into it, but the rich plantation owners who owned the slaves, manipulated the southern class system in their favor, and started the war are on par with Benedict Arnold, the Nazis and the SS to me.

    Yes? They were implicated in many war crimes, and they directly took part in them both on their own and alongside the SS.

    GvzbgulDouglasDangerJedocMadEddychrishallett83furlionMvrck
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I also can't say that the descendents of those Nazi soldiers hold themselves with pride over their ancestors or celebrate the "cause".

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    The idea that the Wehrmacht was made up of regular German boys who weren't really Nazis and didn't really do war crimes is a nice one that doesn't really share much resemblence to reality.

    The Wehrmacht murdered millions of civilians, knowingly and willingly.

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    It was a convenient fiction when the enemy became the Russians.

    Solarchrishallett83DisruptedCapitalistFencingsax
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Quick quiz! Which of these statues are original Greek statues, and which are Roman reproductions?
    ZsJfWzk.png?1
    2SfZVko.png
    kgDff7P.png?1

    The answer is!

    They're all Roman reproductions.
    When the Romans conquered Greece they were very enamored of the bronze statues there.
    "Bronze?" I hear you say, "I thought all greek statues were marble?". Weeeell, most of the Greek statues you're likely to find nowadays are marble either because they were made of marble to begin with or because they were reproduced in marble by the Romans. The Greeks made statues in bronze or marble usually depending on aesthetic choices or which material worked better for the statue. See, Marble is actually not a great stone for long term use and building. It's soft, it cracks, it's easily stained, and if it rains the calcium in the marble is leached out by the water, especially if the rain is polluted with carbon. The Greeks used it because it's everywhere in Greece and easy for them to quarry.


    The Romans would either cart off bronze statues back to Rome or made casts of the original bronze statues and sent those back to Rome depending on how they felt that day I guess. The casts could either be used to cast new bronze statues or to cast plaster replicas that had measurements built into them and sent around the empire for artists to reproduce. The romans tended to view bronze a little differently than the Greeks though, and reproduced many Greek bronzes in marble. Boy did they reproduce them. There are many Roman reproductions of specific Greek statues, each with very slight differences, and sometimes they only reproduced part of them. Like a reproduction of the top image that was made into a bust.

    xCAaUQ7.jpg?2


    But that brings us back to the differences between marble and bronze. A sculpture made in Marble often can't support the weight of it's own arms. Just ask the Venus de Milo. Marble is too soft for a lot of expressive and freestanding sculpture.
    So the Romans cheated.
    They built struts into the designs. The top picture is of the Doryphoros (The spear bearer), and the Romans added the tree stump on his right leg and the block between his right arm and his body. The middle picture is the Discobolus, where the Romans added another stump. The bottom one is Laocoon and his Sons, this one's a bit less certain, but it's known that this is a Roman reproduction and it's implied that the entire altar that they're leaning against in the sculpture was added to support their weight. And no, that's a sea serpent attacking them. Talking about penises in Greek statues is an entirely different topic.

    "So, what happened to all the bronze statues?"
    Well, there was never just one thing that came in and wiped out most of the statues. It was a combination of many things. One of the reasons the Romans often opted to make reproductions in marble is because bronze has a significant value in other fields. You could make weapons out of it, armor, weapons, cookware, weapons, or even just mint it into bronze money to buy bronze weapons. So, over time it became more important to have bronze than to have those statues and they were scrapped and melted down. So now what we're left with is the Roman copies of many greek statues rather than the original bronze statues. I guess... cultural appropriation to the rescue in this case?

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  • PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    Oral testimony of an Aboriginal massacre now supported by scientific evidence

    On the plus side: Recognition that indigenous oral histories are valuable and valid

    On the minus side: It shouldn't have taken over a fucking century for white people to go, "Wow, that shit was fucked up."

    Also on the minus side: The fact that indigenous oral histories are viewed as so illegitimate that they need a team of white people to co-sign on 'em

    Biggest question: What're folks gonna do, armed with this white-sanctified knowledge that indigenous people haven't been making up massacres? Smart money's on "bupkis"

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Oral testimony of an Aboriginal massacre now supported by scientific evidence

    On the plus side: Recognition that indigenous oral histories are valuable and valid

    On the minus side: It shouldn't have taken over a fucking century for white people to go, "Wow, that shit was fucked up."

    Also on the minus side: The fact that indigenous oral histories are viewed as so illegitimate that they need a team of white people to co-sign on 'em

    Biggest question: What're folks gonna do, armed with this white-sanctified knowledge that indigenous people haven't been making up massacres? Smart money's on "bupkis"

    In the US we need a book to go in history classes that incorporates the oral histories of the First Nations peoples called something like "US History: The Missing Chapters". Obviously the textbook companies aren't going to do it, not that you'd want them to.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Oral testimony of an Aboriginal massacre now supported by scientific evidence

    On the plus side: Recognition that indigenous oral histories are valuable and valid

    On the minus side: It shouldn't have taken over a fucking century for white people to go, "Wow, that shit was fucked up."

    Also on the minus side: The fact that indigenous oral histories are viewed as so illegitimate that they need a team of white people to co-sign on 'em

    Biggest question: What're folks gonna do, armed with this white-sanctified knowledge that indigenous people haven't been making up massacres? Smart money's on "bupkis"

    we've (meaning the Aboriginal people of my country) got oral testimony of friggin stone age geological events that've been passed down for thousands of years - IN SPITE of massacres, immense cultural disruption, and attempts at genocide -
    and yet people had trouble crediting mere 100-year-old stories. Naturally.

    DouglasDangerPoorochondriacDedwrekkaSkeithVegemytevalhalla130chrishallett83Magell
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Isn't there pretty good reason not to completely trust oral histories?

    ikzpt6vtahzi.png
  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    There is pretty good reason not to completely trust history, full stop.

    Always be coming to things with a critical eye for the biases, agendas, limitations on perspectives, etc, of anyone telling you any history.

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  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2017
    cB557 wrote: »
    Isn't there pretty good reason not to completely trust oral histories?

    Yes.
    But when you have a culture without a tradition of written records, that has an oral record of an event, it's bad history to ignore that. There's a big gap between "this happened exactly word for word like this story says" and "this didn't happen at all".

    Edit: and to be clear, it's not like NOBODY believed the local population about this massacre - certainly there was enough trust to start an archaeological investigation. It's just without that physical evidence, it wasn't written into the official history of Australia. This is effectively prioritizing the self interested propaganda of whitefellas (what massacre? No massacre here, we didn't report it) over what turns out to be a more accurate but non-written records. When, given what we know about Australia's colonial history, there's good reason to be sceptical of the former.

    tynic on
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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    edit- re: cB557's post

    Yes and no. Written histories also have their flaws but they are treated as superior to oral histories. While each has their own unique (and not unique) problems, the common view that written history is superior to oral history is mostly founded on prejudice. Both systems are capable of being regulated and fact checked.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    cB557 wrote: »
    Isn't there pretty good reason not to completely trust oral histories?

    Considering we gather a lot of information about older cultures' political dynasties though readily acknowledged propaganda like the Palette of Narmer or the Stele of Naram-Sin? Eh, oral histories are as good a source as any as long as you have the sources right there. Even when it's not historically accurate it tells you about the people telling the story.

    Straightzitynic
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