And I think most Civil War historians have been against Confederate statues - if not removal, at least with contextualization. Whose Heritage: Public Symbols of the Confederacy. The Importance of History to the Erasing-History Defence. Racist Symbols and Reparations. Other recently vandalized monuments include a statue of Joan of Arc in New Orleans, a 200-year-old Christopher Columbus monument in Baltimore, and a statue of Spanish priest Junipero Serra in California. This is true, 2.1. The New York Times. In D. Boonin (ed. Liberman, A. While all of them committed grave moral wrongs. Within the Shadow of Monuments. The Significance of Commemoration in the Struggle for Relations of Respect. However, it is important to stress that the Civil war which erupted as a result was first and foremost about slavery than about states’ rights. (2017). Southern Poverty Law Center (2019). A number of advocates in Southern towns erected Confederate statues because the Confederate mythologies seemingly helped justify the Jim Crow laws. Since the Civil War, Confederate monuments have been erected across America. Social media captured the ensuing chaos and violence in real-time: a white nationalist terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman and injuring many others, and two state police officers died in a helicopter crash. Ashes of Our Fathers: Racist Monuments and the Tribal Right. In mid-August, Baltimore removed a Confederate monument overnight. (2019). Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials. Confronting Confederate Myths with In the Shadow of Statues. Monuments as Commitments: How Art Speaks to Groups and How Groups Think in Art. Alfred Brophy has surprisingly argued that preserving Confederate monuments ought to be illegal because they supposedly violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. If one is interested in a more historical defense of Confederate monuments, they may want to read Shedler’s (1998). We do …  Third, it’s plausibly more important to prevent the harm such monuments cause than to honor any accomplishments of the Confederacy, since that is what will most likely minimize unavoidable harm. Torin, A. Nili, S. (2020). In B. Fischer (ed.) Burch-Brown, J. What did Mahatma Gandhi think of Black People? This doesn’t follow. Ashes of Our Fathers: Racist Monuments and the Tribal Right. See, for instance, Connellan (2010) and Lakshmi (2015). Abrahams 2020). Part (i) of (2) is supported by the ample testimony of the groups fighting to remove Confederate monuments. Confederate monuments that are placed in museums and properly contextualized can be presented as an important relic of history or work of art without valorizing the Confederacy itself. Robert E. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest, of course, were Confederate generals who fought hard to preserve slavery. On Racist Symbols and Reparations. 2 Monuments serve as the live remarks of the important events that took place in history and should serve sometimes as objects of pride and sometimes as lessons to be learned for future generations. Would the removal of Confederate statues from public spaces be a mistake? A hot topic right now in the United States is the removal of Confederate Statues. Miranda, D. F. (2019). Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. New York: Routledge. Baltimore Mayor on Confederate Statues: Why Should People Have to Feel That Pain Every Day. ... Confederate monuments … Miranda, D. F. (2019). On the Ethics of Reconstructing Destroyed Cultural Heritage Monuments. The many sources cited in the References and Further Readings discuss some important aspects of Confederate monuments, such as their history, their intended meanings, and the many objections, as well as defenses of, these monuments. The statue, erected in 1890, is slated for removal. The most profound consequences may come less from ideological zealots than from our own cowardice to oppose them. This is true even if we believe that the monument itself isn’t racist. There are two primary arguments swirling around the Confederate statue debate. McDonough, C. (2018). Segregationists used the same power play tactics in the Civil Rights era. Knight, C. (2017). But even with the monument’s dark history, there is still room for caution. Fighting for an oppressive cause, even at great personal sacrifice, is hardly a noble accomplishment. In an interview with Trevor Noah, Mitch Landrieu discusses how Wynton Marsalis raised this point to him, which served as a catalyst for Landrieu to change his mind about whether the statues should be removed. One comes around the turn of the 20th century, just after Plessy v. Ferguson, and just as many Southern states were establishing repressive race laws. Ethics Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us. Confederate Monuments continue to be a hot topic of debate of whether they should be removed or remain in public places. Average Salaries for Professors by Rank. If (1)-(5) are true, then the truth of (6) is logically guaranteed. (1) If some monument(s) unavoidably harms undeserving people, then there is moral reason to remove that monument. (2017). What is not clear, however, is whether this rush to take down statues is motivated by reasonable arguments or charged emotions. This has become evident in recent vandalism of non-Confederate statues.  Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh raises this type of consideration when discussing her decision to remove four Confederate statues.  More importantly, there doesn’t need to be a net decrease in historical knowledge since whatever knowledge would be lost by removing the monuments could be compensated for by the creation of additional educational resources that would harmlessly impart the relevant knowledge. Cotter, H. (2017). Trump’s New Defense of His Charlottesville Comments is Incredibly False. Women Suffer from Gandhi’s Legacy. Risking Civilian Lives to Avoid Harm to Cultural Heritage? Nili, S. (2020). ‘Confederate monuments have a great deal of aesthetic and historical value.’, In response, it’s worth noting that any aesthetic or historical value worth preserving in Confederate monuments can be done harmlessly by, for instance, placing them in a museum and contextualizing them. Some colleges now respond to ideological intimidation not by … Continue reading “The Ways in Which Colleges Legally Silence Troublesome Scholars”, The year 2020 brought changes that colleges would have never made by choice. The Times Picayune, May 17th, 2017. (5) There isn’t equally strong or stronger reason to preserve public Confederate monuments than to remove them. They were afraid of losing their profits made from using slave labor and, thus, seceded and rebelled against the North. Women Suffer from Gandhi’s Legacy. (2019) But I Voted for Him for Other Reasons! And last Tuesday, nearly 800 protestors gathered around UNC-Chapel Hill’s “Silent Sam” monument, which was erected over a hundred years ago in honor of students who fought in the Confederacy. During the dedication speech, Confederate veteran Julian Carr boasted about how he publicly whipped a black woman. (4) If there is moral reason to remove some monument(s), then people are morally obligated to remove the monument(s) unless there is equally strong or stronger reason to preserve them. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 1-16. We offer top-notch conditions for every writing request, and always deliver quality papers online. The Ways in Which Colleges Legally Silence Troublesome Scholars, “The Ways in Which Colleges Legally Silence Troublesome Scholars”, University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab, “University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab”, Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo, “Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo”, Did You Know? (6) Therefore, people are morally obligated to remove public Confederate monuments. A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments. See Nevins (2017). Demetriou, D. (2020). In response, it’s worth noting that any aesthetic or historical value worth preserving in Confederate monuments can be done harmlessly by, for instance, placing them in a museum and contextualizing them. Risking Civilian Lives to Avoid Harm to Cultural Heritage?  I would like to thank Chelsea Haramia, Dan Lowe, Thomas Metcalf, Nathan Nobis, Felipe Pereira, and Amanda Timmerman for very helpful and detailed comments on earlier versions of this entry. (2019). : Moral Permissibility and the Doctrine of Double Endorsement. Moody-Adams, M. (2019). Political Vandalism as Counter-Speech: A Defense of Defacing and Destroying Tainted Monuments. 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology, Categories: Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, Ethics  During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Jim Crow voting laws were passed to disenfranchise African-American voters. One of his first moves was to extend student loan payment deferrals until October, buying time for further reforms to America’s higher education system. Coates, T. (2015). Plans have been announced to relocate two Confederate statues in Lexington, Kentucky. Everybody knows who won the war. Shedler, G. (2001). New York: Oxford University Press. The Physical Legacy of a Troubled Past. Those actions spell trouble for the future of … Continue reading “University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab”, Now that President Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president, he wants to hit the ground running and attend to urgent priorities. Trump’s New Defense of His Charlottesville Comments is Incredibly False.  It’s widely known that Thomas Jefferson was a vicious slave holder, though his moral shortcomings extend far beyond that fact.  Premise (4) just follows from a necessarily true general claim about how reasons weigh against one another, at least if the reasons in question are understood to have “requiring force.”. Willard, M. (2019). Failure by administrators to stand firm alters the atmosphere at colleges as well as, eventually, our system of government. However, space constraints make it impossible to consider every possible approach and position concerning this complex issue in any kind of detail. In applied ethics, he has written on global poverty, animal welfare, and the Confederate monument debate. Flying the Confederate Flag on Public Property May Violate America’s 14th Amendment.  This essay introduces this type of argument.. Author: Travis Timmerman But (5) cannot be rejected unless one can identify a more important reason to preserve the monuments than to remove them. The Morality of State Symbolic Power. Monuments to racism, hate and prejudice must be removed, writes Larry Moneta, but only through legitimate, law-abiding processes. Franck says that Lee’s mission was centered on upholding human bondage, whereas Jefferson’s mission was the advancement of human freedom. Confederate Statues Were Built to Further a ‘White Supremacist Future’. When Public Art Goes Bad: Two Competing Features of Public Art. After all, some argue that it is precisely because it was put up during such a tumultuous time that it holds unique historical value. Coates, T. (2015). But, for the sake of the future, more work remains. In B. Fischer (ed.). One cannot assume that all monuments associated with the Confederacy must be torn down without looking closely at the individuals they depict; case-by-case analysis is necessary. In J. Bicknell, J. Judkins, and C. Korsmeyer (eds.) If successful, it shows that we’re obligated to continue removing public Confederate monuments.. These decisions ought to be determined more democratically and reflect broad consensus—not just that of loud protestors. If successful, it shows that we’re obligated to continue removing public Confederate monuments. Let’s now consider the best objections to (5), and the best responses to those objections. They may even distort the historical record. Some have responded by arguing that there is a clear distinction between memorials honoring Confederate soldiers, who actively fought to defend slavery, and those like Washington and Jefferson, who owned slaves. Is it Wrong to Topple Statues and Rename Schools? Journal of Practical Ethics, 7(3), 1-31. Are Confederate Monuments Racist? Demetriou, D. & Wingo, A. In the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy, more than twenty monuments were removed from college and public grounds, with many others pending removal. Some colleges, such as UCLA, will not reopen until an “effective vaccine or advanced therapeutics have been developed and are available to the majority … Continue reading “Did You Know? It’s been more than two weeks since white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to march against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and chant racist slogans. (3) Therefore, there is strong moral reason to remove public Confederate monuments. The basic idea behind this objection is that there is moral reason to honor people’s noble accomplishments, and Confederate monuments can do that, and doing that is at least as important as preventing the harm they cause. Take Down the Confederate Flag-Now. While the debate whether Confederate statues should be taken down has been gaining momentum for years, the issue gained widespread attention after the June 17, 2015, mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Faculty salaries at public universities vary widely by... Sign up to receive all of our articles and news in our weekly newsletters. Moody-Adams, M. (2019). It’s worth noting that these arguments are broadly compatible with each other. The Daily Show, March 19, 2018. It is for these reasons that the Confederate monuments must be removed. In M. Timmons (ed.). The young Mahatma Gandhi notoriously expressed racist attitudes toward black people and was an unrepentant misogynist. (2000). At any rate, those who want Confederate statues removed can indeed make a strong argument that many monuments were erected during the Jim Crow era in order to send an intimidating message to black people. August 20th, 2017. (4) is obviously true. That should be paired with Adler’s detailed (2000) book review/reply. The UnMute Podcast. See also Marsalis’s moving (2017) article on why New Orleans should remove their Robert E. Lee statue. in front of courthouses) was a “power play” aimed at intimidating African-Americans. Writing in the Washington Post, legal scholar Alfred Brophy believes … Lai, T.-H. (Forthcoming). Based on the fuzzy logic of protestors, it is unclear how removing statues of Robert E. Lee will not also lead to the removal of statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others. Monuments are reverential in nature, so if they’re placed in a museum they’ll cease to be, 2.2.  Harm-based arguments are not the only arguments that have been leveled against Confederate monuments. Plato’s Crito: When should we break the law? When Public Art Goes Bad: Two Competing Features of Public Art. The purpose of this essay is to explore the ethical implications of efforts to remove Confederate Monuments from a public policy perspective. Countless more examples can be found by listening to interviews of counter-protesters who oppose preserving Confederate monuments.  The majority of those protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville were part of the “Unite the Right” rally, which consisted of white supremacists and white nationalists who were clearly motivated to preserve the Lee statue for racist reasons. Whose Heritage: Public Symbols of the Confederacy.  To be clear, presentations of statues (and the like) in museums could be reverential too, depending on the display, but they needn’t be.