No, Robert E. Lee & George Washington did not ‘both save America’

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One of the funniest/saddest tweets following Donald Trump’s unhinged press conference on Tuesday was about Trump spilling the tea about how George Washington owned slaves. The response to that tweet was basically (and I’m paraphrasing): “Congrats on passing third grade, man.” Much like Trump saying Frederick Douglass is doing great work, Trump thinks he’s breaking news about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owning human beings as chattel slaves.

It feels insane to be arguing about this in 2017, but here goes: George Washington is the reason why there is an America. George Washington won the Revolutionary War, served two terms as president with dignity, and then showed the country that the American experiment is larger than one man when he refused to run for a third term, or become “King” of America. Washington wasn’t perfect, clearly, but we honor his significant contributions to America for good reason. Robert E. Lee committed treason and fought a war against the republic because he wanted to keep human beings in bondage, as property. Lee and Washington are not the same. They do not represent the same things in our history. But don’t tell that to Donald Trump’s lawyer John Dowd. Dowd has been forwarding an email claiming that Washington and Lee were the same, that “there literally is no difference between the two men.”

“Both saved America” - O RLY? I enjoy these kinds of thought-exercises as much as any history buff, but I’ve always leaned more towards recognizing Ulysses S. Grant as the Batman-saving-America figure of the Civil War. Grant won because he was a brilliant military mind (and probably a terrible person), whereas Lee… well, Lee lost the war, you know?

The email was actually written by Jerome Almon, and merely forwarded by Dowd. Almon apparently also went to Down last week to claim that he had “damaging information” about James Comey.

Of course, this is what Michael Cohen, another of Trump’s lawyers, was doing yesterday – proving he’s not racist by creating photo collages of himself with black people.

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156 Responses to “No, Robert E. Lee & George Washington did not ‘both save America’”

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  1. detritus says:

    Isn’t a statue to Lee like the biggest participation trophy out there?

    Snowflakes, alt right babies, honeys, the dude lost, and he stood for bad ideas. Just take down the statues already.

  2. common sense is for commoners says:

    Robert E. Lee went to war with the American government! That’s treason, which he knowingly engaged in so that the South’s “way of life” of OWNING PEOPLE could be preserved.

    Anyone who has kind words for REL can take a stadium full of seats. SMH

  3. QueenB says:

    How is “their battle tactics are still taught” even an argument? You can be a horrible person and be a great military leader. Genghis Khan was a great military leader but you know also a genocidal one.

    • Ankhel says:

      “Djenghis vs. Queen Elizabeth II.”

      Both were hereditary rulers.
      Both were members of great dynasties.
      Both were involved in great wars in their lifetimes.
      Both were very rich.
      Both loved horses.


    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      I would also like some more information about how and in what class are “their battle tactics still taught at West Point”. Like in History of War? Or, in Lee’s case, are his tactics taught as an example of what not to do? Because completely misunderstanding the capabilities of the your enemy’s technology and weaponry, and having thousands of men charge into cannon and rifle fire was incredibly stupid.

      I’m also under the impression that the manner in which we fight war is so far ahead that their tactics would only be valuable in an overarching discussion of historic battles, not as an actual lesson on how to wage war. But I’m not in the military so there’s a good chance I have no idea what I’m talking about either lol.

  4. Karen says:

    I still don’t understand this. In Bigly terms, Lee was the loser. The worst insult for him. You dont commmorate the loser.

    The Washington comment is false equivilancy, he was the winner. Do you see people being upset if statues of King George or Gen Howe were taken down? Many colonial Americans fought on the side of the English too remember.

    • I just can't says:

      Washington was weak. Gave up his power. Sad!

    • OhDear says:

      Trump can’t ever admit that he’s wrong, so this is what we get. Sigh.

    • LittlestRoman says:

      Hell, in NYC, they pulled down the statue of King George and melted it down to make musket balls to fire back at the British.

    • Svea says:

      Exactly. All he does is talk about how he can’t stand losers–to the point of disrespecting Senator McCain. Furthermore, though no saint, Washington did instruct in his will that the slaves owned by him (not those part of his wive’s estate that he had no legal control over) be freed upon his wife’s death. Martha freed them within a year later figuring it was safer for her to do so.

      • Katy says:

        I should point out that while Washington did leave instructions for the emancipation of his slaves in his will, he did also exploit a legal loophole that allowed him to keep slaves in the North, in the Union, as President. For his personal use. In this loophole, he claimed he was not a resident of Pennsylvania and therefore the state’s prohibition on slavery did not apply to him. Subsequent to the Northwest Ordinance of 1789, Washington signed into law the ability of slave owners to hunt down fugitive slaves regardless of state, provided money and weapons to Saint-Domingue (Haiti) to put down slave rebellions, and made efforts to recover his own escaped slaves in a handful of instances. He may have helped to found and guide our great country, but he had clear, conflicting views on slavery and often spoke out of different sides of his mouth as politicians often do. His actions were reprehensible half the time, and seemingly altruistic the other half.

    • Nic919 says:

      Where are the Benedict Arnold statues? Some could argue that British rule wasn’t that bad after all Canada managed to become a far more progressive country than the US currently is.

    • LA Elle says:

      You know, Karen, I hadn’t thought about that. Why is Trump siding with the losers? I thought he only liked winners …

      Of course, the winners won’t let him sit at their table …

    • Katy says:

      I was watching CNN yesterday and during an interview two of the Central Park Five, when asked if statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be removed due to their involvement with slavery, said that even our founding fathers were not exempt. They wanted all of their statues removed as well. This is a slippery slope. We should lead by example and learn from the past, not erase it and potentially destroy the lessons we have obtained. I am concerned that being too politically correct damages our history, as even our darkest times show that evil was met passionately, head-on and defeated. Finally, as a member of academia and a history researcher, I just want to clear up a few salient points: 1) Not all Confederacy soldiers fought for slavery. Some fought to protect family, homestead and occupancy, and belongings. 2) If someone was part of the state militia prior to secession then they were a Confederate soldier following secession. There was also a draft with penalties. 3) Some states seceded for reasons other than slavery such as high tariffs or broken promises of Union protection from Native Americans on the trails, like Texas.

      In the case of Lee, we have historical documents where he denounced slavery. He also wished he could emancipate the slaves he was responsible for as the executor of George Washington Custis’ will following his death. He also refused a direct commission offer with the Confederacy; he became a ranking officer upon Virginia’s secession as he had already resigned his commission in the United States military and joined the Virginia militia. Refusal to act on his state legislature directives would have probably resulted in seizures of lands and property. It seems like a selfish thing to worry about when faced with such an evil institution such as slavery, but in this time period land was revenue and no revenue was starvation.

      I unequivocally condemn the demonstration in Charlottesville by the neo-nazis and white supremacists. The hate they spew is a direct projection of their own inadequacy, vulnerability and self-loathing, mental illness is also a factor. They need to look within and not make heroes out of monsters.

      • wolfpup says:

        Very informative and interesting, Katy. Did you know that George Washington and Robert E. Lee were cousins 4th or 5th perhaps, but their mothers up the line were sisters. They are also cousins to the Queen of England and Merriweather Lewis (the Lewis/Clark expedition), same/same. The common ancestor is Augustine Warner. I suppose that the colonies had to be very small indeed, or “nobility” in the colonies very tiny for these family relations to occur. What is most interesting to me, is that the children of the confederates were also many of the children of the Revolutionary War. Besides noting the economic desire of the Confederacy, might we also note the strength of a Revolutionary War intended to throw off that same necessity? It doesn’t take a small stretch to see the same ideas and needs playing out today.

        It is surprising to me that the Confederate war is spoken, still, in 2017 as a valid idea. Apparently the ideas of Jesus, and loving one another, haven’t filtered down into that sore spot. Nor have we begun to acknowledge the divisions around us that corporations and class play in our daily lives. The civil war still rears its ugly head – yet it is not a battle of races, but the rich and the poor. The Confederate plantation owners that wanted to remain rich, even though there was white trash lying all about because the enslaved black held all the jobs. The Confederacy argues that it was simple economics, not a slave class that they were fighting for.

        No one gets a pass for being a slave owner – not one single human being! The fact of the matter is that it is obvious, even, “self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

      • Bee says:

        Slippery Slope is a logical fallacy. They teach it classes. It’s one of the top five. Seriously.

        Also, Lee was a traitor. The founding fathers weren’t.
        Lee viciously beat his slaves, by the way.
        The statues were put up to enforce white supremacy during Jim Crow.

      • Katy says:

        The Norris beatings were a horrific example of the injustices being done to black men and women, yes. No rebuttal there. He still wasn’t a flagrant slavery proponent as suggested. Let’s be factually orientated here: Lee never owned slaves until he became the executor of George Washington Parke Custis’ estate in 1857. The slaves were part of the estate, he was not allowed to free them as the law prohibited outright emancipation at that time because of the will. He freed them five years after Custis’ death as the will entailed without complaint, filing deed of manumission, on December 29th, 1862. Just to be absolutely clear, Lee did not own the slaves any longer than the law required him to do so. The law was disgusting, yes. No arguments there, either, and it absolves the man of nothing except that the laws at this time were archaic and immoral and this was the climate Lee found himself living in. Incidentally, he supported his wife and mother when they attempted to liberate slaves and set up illegal schools. Men and women of power, influence and wealth comforted themselves with half measures, in attempts to assuage guilt by convincing one another what they did was for the “greater good” or for the slaves’ benefit. The established culture, religious fervor (belief that God ordained slavery) and ignorance perpetrated a gross barbarity.

        Meanwhile, George Washington utilized legal loopholes to keep his slaves for personal use. He refused to rightfully emancipate his slaves and defied law, while President, to do so. Historians who claim Washington was an advocate for emancipation set aside the inconvenient fact that when faced with a financial loss, the former President chose to keep his slaves rather than give them freedom. Their freedom negatively impacted his financial gain and that was more important than human decency. He also agreed with the beating of a female slave by a farm manager in order to “lower her Spirit or skin her back.” Washington replied that he considered that treatment “very proper” if she had not done her “duty by fair means or was impertinent.” He was an advocate of chains. He punished slaves who rebelled by selling them to the West Indies, ensuring they would never see their families again. He hunted slaves who escaped him. He funded government weapons and money to put down slave rebellions. He replaced two escaped black slaves with German indentured servants. Does this sound like a man we should defend? Should we give him a pass because he was President and signed the Constitution? Who is above reproach and where do we draw the line?

        That is my slippery slope concern. If we condemn Lee for slavery, suggest his effigies should be torn down for his part in slavery, we should be thorough. They all should come down. We shouldn’t selectively pardon our forefathers for their atrocities because they were ultimately on the winning side. You see how this begins to unravel?

        Finally, yes, in the most absolute way Lee was a traitor to the United States. He fought with his state and not on behalf of the Union. This was a terrible decision. He was ultimately pardoned. He was still stupid and when he played stupid games, he won stupid prizes–the loss of Arlington forever. Though his family was later paid by the government for the land after the Supreme Court ruled it was wrongly confiscated. Go figure. If the argument for the removal of the statues is that we shouldn’t aggrandize traitors, I agree. If the argument is that he supported slavery, shouldn’t we show no favoritism? Equality also applies to a logical equity of blame for all the guilty.

      • Wilma says:

        +1 to what Bee said. Plus, way to go buying into the myth of Robert E. Lee, Katy. As a historical researcher myself I would advise you to check the actual documents and/or read some more modern interpretations of those documents.

      • Katy says:

        Thank you for your reply, Wilma. I have read copies of the original documents. I don’t believe these tangible resources are myth. In addition, biographers, historians, anthropologists and researchers all agree with me. I am not an aberrant voice in the crowd. I do find it gratifying that these same individuals also minimize his military prowess and the concept Lee was a jolly, loving man, which true accounts say he was not. He should not be put on a pedestal. He was not a great man. He made no incredible contribution to our country that he requires an idol in every city. I completely understand the want and desire of the people to see those effigies removed, if they so vote.

        Further, if by some happenstance, we are all incorrect, which is always a possibility in most historical situations, how is he any different than George Washington? You didn’t comment on his background of my reply. Aside from Lee’s traitorous pursuit, if the wicked institution of slavery is the true motivation for removing the statues, then it stands to reason we should be thorough in our venture. All should come down. Even President Washington’s, a man who bought teeth from slaves at discounted prices for his dentures.

  5. third ginger says:

    Some of this dangerous nonsense is what I call GONE WITH THE WIND derangement syndrome. Some white Southerners live in a fantasy of the “glories” of the old South. You can hear them interviewed talking about their “heritage” Now they never explain exactly how they are connected with the Civil War, and my guess is that few of them actually have ancestors who fought. However, even if they did, they would never admit that way of life was built on the enslavement of their fellow human beings. [ I happen to be originally from Georgia].

    • LadyMTL says:

      Oh yeah, people tend to romanticize the hell out of the pre civil war deep South. Heck, even Blake Lively had her tone-deaf “Antebellum” site for a while there. They put on blinkers and can’t envision anything other than women lounging around under massive oak trees, sipping mint juleps and dreaming about their beau. Slavery? Poverty? Racism? Nope, that doesn’t factor in at all.

    • teatimeiscoming says:

      Just finished a course, required by the state of Georgia, in which the author of our texts says that fewer than 1 in 20 white Georgians can claim “Confederate heritage.” I thought that was particularly interesting as people keep saying ‘It’s my family’s history!” like that’s something to be proud of. A) No, it likely isn’t; and B) Bloodrelation to treasonist d!ckbags isn’t something to be proud of.

      • Esmerelda says:

        I do have an actual fascist in my family tree. The whole family carries a deep and abiding shame for his actions to this day. It’s not something to be proud of, it’s a stain on the family’s history. I do not understand how someone could feel proud of their slave-owning ancestors…

    • Mermaid says:

      @third ginger
      Such a good point. I completely agree. Too many people watched Gone With the Wind. And are caught up in the Vivian Leigh/Clark Gable melodrama. It’s a romantic fantasy of a terrible period and these people need to watch Roots instead.

    • HK9 says:

      Absolutely-they love this ‘revisionist’ history and they don’t read what they need to read to realize what the whole picture was so they cherry pick and delude themselves.

    • lucy2 says:

      It’s not even just Southerners – a girl I know from high school posted this pro Lee crap and a confederate flag themed image. SHE’S FROM NEW JERSEY AND HAS LIVED THERE HER WHOLE LIFE. We also went to a fairly diverse school and I know she has non-white friends – I debated sticking around to see if any of them called her on it, but it was better for my sanity to simply remove her from my FB.

    • Grandjen says:

      True story. My racist grandmother used to pour over civil war “history books”… which were really just cheap romance novels set in the Antebellum South, ala GWTW. When I questioned her on it, she got really defensive and insisted that slaves were “happy” with their situation. It was bizzare as sh$t, just surreal. I mean, she didn’t live through it and there is a plethora of evidence against it, but she sat there stiff lipped and unmovable on the subject, defensive, insulted that I would question her – like I was questioning her Faith itself…

      I do not understand racism, but I’m just saying – my grandmother was pretty dumb. Never left her hometown, never ventured outside the bubble she’d grown up in. Wasn’t interested in the “outside world”. Racism requires a certain amount of idiocy, delusion, and self imposed head-up-your-own-a$$

      • Mermaid says:

        And let’s not leave the Dukes of Hazard out here. I feel like a lot of white guys of a certain age just associate the Confederate flag with the orange General Lee and not what it actually represents-a group of states that fought a war to protect their ability to own other human beings.

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, I actually do have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, in Virginia, so presumably under Lee’s command, at least indirectly. Tear down all the monuments. When people discuss, I usually mention I had family that fought on both sides, and am much more likely to mention the ancestors on the Union side who were fighting against Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. I grew up near Antietam, and my grandmother was born on a farm a stone’s throw from Gettysburg where her family fought–for some people, this is a close, personal history, and I get that, but I didn’t see my grandmother’s family flying Union battleflags from their barn.

    • isabelle says:

      Grew up in Appalachia, many of the counties in states fighting for the South actually fought for the North. Some Appalachian states sided with the blue completely. My great granddad (who lived to be 107) fought for the North. Yet, when I go home my ding dong cousins have confederate flags everywhere. My grandpa said his Dad would fight anyone that flew one during his day but here we are my family not respecting its own history and buying into the lies of the confederacy, without much thought behind it.

      • KLaw says:

        @isabelle, That would annoy me so much that I wouldn’t be able to visit them. Or I’d tear down those stupid flags in the middle of the night. UGH! Maybe your great grandfather can haunt them.

      • Christin says:

        Parts of Appalachia had relatives fighting for different sides. Few had slaves, and those who ended up fighting for the southern effort did so half-heartedly in some cases.

        Local historians have noted that the war was so brutal and divisive that families would not speak of it afterwards. It’s a chapter that these soldiers, widows and orphans wished to forget. Now a few witless ding dongs want to fly flags and act all puffed up about it.

  6. Nicole says:

    My new favorite thing on twitter is seeing people be all “well if you take down these statues what’s next Christopher Columbus (or Washington or Jefferson)?!” and the rest of Twitter being like “good idea!”
    Not having the desired effect ya morons

    • Esmom says:

      I know, reading those was keeping me sane yesterday, too! Did you see James Woods’ “before the liberals destroy the Iwo Jima statue.” tweet? The replies are priceless, such as “Hi I’m conservative dipshit James Woods and every single statue means the same thing to me. Someone please take me seriously” LMAO

      • Nicole says:

        Gosh if there was another one that deserved a punch to the face ugh.
        Statues mean nothing to me. Memorials however are different. You would think people would realize they are fighting over relics about a war they DIDN’T EVEN WIN

      • lucy2 says:

        James Woods is such an angry, hateful moron.

      • Marion C says:

        Yeah, he’s also a 70 year old who likes to date barely legal teens/early 20somethings that look like adolescents. See him around a lot as he has a home nearby and his mother lives in the area.

      • Nic919 says:

        James Woods apparently didn’t do as much acting as previously thought when he played Roy Cohn.

      • Kitten says:

        Haha..that’s awesome, Esmom.

        Slightly OT but yesterday I had a friend write a post about “why are there no memorials to black slaves? This country was largely built on their backs.”

        I then posted several photos of beautiful statues that commemorate emancipation in Senegal, West Indies, Barbados, South Africa…all over the world. They are not uncommon and many are stunningly beautiful and moving.

        Then I posted this pic:

        The only emancipation memorial I’ve seen that features the white man.

        And f*cking prominently, too.

        Basically, Lincoln is the focus of the statue and the black person is a secondary element.
        And don’t even get me started on the fact that he is groveling at the feet of a white man.
        It’s like we can’t even get THIS simple shit right.

        I know that we can’t erase slavery but we had a chance to say something meaningful to black people, to show them that while was we did was awful and unforgivable, we can and will acknowledge that this country’s success was based on their–for lack of a better word–”work”.
        (I hate using that word to describe what was actually forced labor)

        Just so sad that this is our nation’s capital and we can’t do better than that garbage.

        ETA: Feels weird to write “commemorate emancipation”….honoring the abolishment of slavery, like congratulating ourselves on something that should have never happened in the first place. Sigh.

  7. lightpurple says:

    Lee was a traitor. And he did not want statues in his honor. His family does not want statues in his honor. The crowd that is screaming that we can’t get over losing an election 9 months ago is the same crowd that can’t get over losing a war 150 years ago.

  8. Beth says:

    I often wonder if he ever took history class or if he truly is so stupid, that he doesn’t know simple facts. Comparing the first president to Robert E. Lee, he’s commented about other dead presidents like they were buddies with Trump and were proud of what he’s doing in Washington. I sigh and roll my eyes when he completely messes up history that even my 12 year old nephew knows

  9. Shambles says:

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

  10. Merritt says:

    If you have to say that you are not racist, then you are racist af.

  11. littlemissnaughty says:

    I love that dude with the father surving the Holocaust and the black friends. He’s trying really hard, bless him. I don’t understand the argument, frankly. Supporting 45 makes you a racist in my book but I could be wrong. What it definitely makes you is an assh*le.

  12. Fiorucci says:

    Why are there confederate statues in all areas? I was surprised to hear they were in Baltimore. I can’t remeber which side Maryland is on but are there statues in nonconferate states ? Do these people have significance other than being the losing but but surely hard working and talented leaders of the civil war? Are the statues for their skills despite the loss?

    • Sixer says:

      There’s a graph going around Twitter showing date of erection and confluence with Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement. Also, I saw someone saying that many of the statues come from the same cast, so there are monuments to both sides with EXACTLY THE SAME SOLDIER. Or something. Hang on, let me see if I can find it…

      … this Twitter thread wasn’t the one I saw, but similar:

      • Fiorucci says:

        Thank you sixer, there’s lots of info there. i knew it was better to ask here than google:-)

      • lightpurple says:

        There is one marker here in Massachusetts but the state is trying to get it removed. It isn’t a statue but a marker listing those who died here as prisoners of war. There’s an old fort on George’s Island in Boston Harbor where the prisoners were kept and some died. It currently is encased in a wooden box. I’m not sure whether the graves are still under it. The governor, a Republican who didn’t support Trump but has tried to make nice, wants it gone but the island is now a national park so he has to get federal approval to remove it and nobody is sure Trump will grant it.

    • nancypants says:

      Maryland falls below the Mason-Dixon line, therefore, it is/was a confederate state.

    • Sestina says:

      Baltimore/Maryland was complicated, but yeah, apparently it had way more Southern traits than I thought: (below M-D line; big slave-owning on east coast) (obviously that’s just a website; I rec more reading). And the statues were put up to intimidate PoC and give poor whites a visible reminder of their “heritage” NOT to commemorate war.

      • Fiorucci says:

        Great links thank you. I have roots on the eastern shore (and have been there a bit) but we never discussed anything like slavery or local culture when my grandparents were alive. You know, I always thought there were no slaves there, and never thought to just check Wikipedia.

    • Nopity Nope says:

      There’s a Jefferson Davis statue in a park (Davis Park, of course) in a small town just north of Portland OR. Not sure why but my guess is something that rhymes with Blight Schupremacy.

    • ELX says:

      Maryland was a slave state and one of the border states that did not secede; if it had, Washington, D.C. would have had to be abandoned. Pro-Confederate sentiment was very strong and Maryland certainly followed along with our American apartheid, the Jim Crow laws. Check out the old verses to “Maryland, My Maryland,” truly reprehensible.

    • H says:

      Speaking as a homegrown Baltimorean and there were very few Confederate statues in my hometown. Why? While Maryland fought on the Northern side, they were a state which held predominantly southern ideals and had slaves (see Trump’s good friend Frederick Douglas). However, being so close to Washington DC, Lincoln could NOT allow Maryland to secede. The statues went up in protest to civil rights in 50′s and the rise of the KKK in western Maryland in 1920s, or so I’ve been told. (I grew up with a neighbor whose idiot brother was the Grand Wizard of that area).

      However, Maryland has a lot of Civil War history and many battlefields (Antietam, Monocacy.) I literally grew up with one in my back yard (I could look out my bedroom window and see the reenactment folks every autumn). True story. After serving in the Persian Gulf War, I came home and got woken up by loud cannons going off. Our whole house shook. I thought we were being bombed, hello PTSD and utter terror.

      I run downstairs, find my dad, Korean War vet calmly drinking his coffee. I’m like WTF, Dad? Then he reminds me its reenactment weekend and I see dudes dressed in Confederate costumes in the field behind our house. I flip out. I open up door and start screaming at them, “The war’s over, you lost, get a life!” I might have even flipped them the bird. It was my William Shatter moment. (Trek fans will get this).

      I’ve HATED Civil War history ever since, which is ironic, because I’m a history teacher. So happy my hometown took down those revolting statues. They should put them over at Antietam where in proper context they can be viewed. They do not belong up in Baltimore city, a city that is hugely diverse.

  13. swak says:

    Even Robert E. Lee’s descendants are fine with the statues being taken down and put in museums. Everything that went on yesterday was almost too much. And where is Ivanka on all this? Oh, yeah in Vermont on a much needed vacation. And has Trump even said anything about the victims in this? No.

  14. Scal says:

    People are way into the myths about Lee and the south. I know it stinks to have fought for a losing general or to think about family members in the past having done something that feels immoral-but it is what it is. I only see one group rewriting history and it’s not people taking down statues.

    Other myths about Lee:

    ‘He never owned slaves’
    When he married his wife (from one of the richest families in VA) her dowry included a large number of slaves.

    ‘He only fought for VA’
    His writings show that while this may have been true at the beginning-once he left Lee 100% supported and argued for Comfeserate ideals and confederate nationalism. If it had come down to what was best for VA or best for the Confederate states-he would have gone with the later and said so a few times.

    ‘Great general’
    He may have had some great tactical moments-BUT HE LOST. You don’t commentate the people that lost. That’s why you don’t see Rommel statues all over Germany.

    • HeatherAnn says:

      My mother is from Mississippi and I grew up with these myths. It was so interesting for me to learn the facts, which you outline. Plus you’re generous! Lee made serious tactical errors. Gettysburg was on him even though his general, Longstreet, got ridiculously blamed for it (even though Pete was against the whole thing).

    • IlsaLund says:

      Arlington National Cemetary is the former home of Robert E Lee. It was confiscated by the Union during the war. Lee’s slaves are buried there.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      “That’s why you don’t see Rommel statues all over Germany.” Word. I mean there are other reasons, obviously, but I keep thinking about how the entire world would react if we started “commemorating” leading figures from WWII. It’s not entirely the same thing but the principle is similar.

      • Lauren says:

        But I have to question why it is not entirely the same and in fact have always side eyed such statements. Zizek is one of the few European writers I have ever seen admit that before the holocaust came to Europe, Western Europeans practiced on non Europeans and in places like Africa. The brutality was of little significance because it was the dark continent and the people deserved it because they were not seen as human.

        He is one of the only theorists who admits that the reason why Nazism is put on a whole other level and distinguished as the epitome of evil is because no one ever thought the barbarity would to Europe. It was a contradiction to the civility and superiority of white civilization. Hell, it seems everyone wants to forget brutality of communism and orchestrated famine during the same time period.

        I look at what the Nazi did to the Jews and other groups in their death camps and to me it has never been any different than what was done to black slaves or giving the Natives blankets purposely contaminated with small pox to exterminate them. It is no different than what Leopold II did to those in the Beligan Congo and he had camps too. The only differences are the bodies the violence is done to and the places it is done in.

        And the fact that society even make differences in them speaks to what Zizek says about objective and subjective violence and also to the value we place on some suffering above others.

        Hate is hate and so is violence. There need be no distinction or difference made in how it is carried out or who the victims are.

      • Jaded says:

        Mr. Jaded and I had a discussion about this very thing this morning. He said what’s the difference between having Nazi death camps preserved as “historical” monuments and statues of Robert E. Lee and confederate soldiers who died serving their country? Because, I said, we honour all those innocent people who were put to death by the Nazis in concentration camps, simply for being Jewish, not the Nazis themselves. Big difference honouring Robert E. Lee and the confederate army for leading the fight to keep people enslaved.

        Discussion ended.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        The reason I never equate anything or anyone with the Holocaust or Hitler is that I don’t ever want to give the impression that I’m trying to play oh-but-what-about-YOUR-history with anyone. It is my responsibility as a German to fully accept my history and not derail any discussions about it by pointing to anyone else’s awful history. That’s my thing though and you I’m not going to argue that there is a difference but I’m not going to be the one to say it or compare.

        Lauren, you’re not wrong though. Of course not. Genocide or mass murder or slavery are not less horrible just because we don’t call it Holocaust. There is a reason why it is considered one of the worst crimes in recorded history though (that is always up for debate because we’ve done some horrifying sh*t to each other). Yes, because it happened in Europe. And because the entire first half of the 20th century was about progress and we kept thinking “Well, NOW we won’t make that mistake again” and then we did. In 1913 people looked to the Balkans and thought of the war as barbaric and a sign that the region was simply not civilized. We know what happened next.

        But more importantly, it was the planning and efficiency, the industrialized mass murder of millions of people, planned and executed in a way that had not been seen before. And there are minutes of meetings, there are tons and tons of paper outlining in details the who, the how, the where and when. It’s all still right there for us to see. And let’s not forget that we have plenty of photographs and films documenting everything, including the aftermath. That was new, at least on this scale. Whenever we try to imagine the horrors of colonization or everything that came before WWII, I don’t think our minds can fully grasp them. Here, we have evidence.

  15. EOA says:

    I am sorry, but what kind of delusion do you have to live in to believe that the man who betrayed his country to make war against it – IN ORDER TO PROTECT SLAVERY – somehow “saved America”?

    Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant saved America. Lee sought to destroy it.

  16. Lizzie says:

    if people want to think about the contributions lee made to the united states they can go to arlington cemetery which was built on lee’s land so he could not return to it after losing the civil war. once you get there – hang your head and think about all the people who have died defending the rights lee and the traitors who seceded from the US fought against. and all the rights trump and these nazi, white supremecist assholes are trying to destroy. there is a momument to lee’s self aggrandizement and loserdom and it is also a resting place for true patriots who actually **have** saved america

  17. snowflake says:

    I see Confederate flags a lot here in FL. I don’t get it. I think they feel they are being forced to let their history go? But why would you want to celebrate it? I just want to tear their flag down! Glad Baltimore took their statues down at night time, that was smart.

    • third ginger says:

      Not sure about citizens of Florida, but see some comments above on Ga. and alleged “heritage.”

    • MellyMel says:

      I’m in Florida and it’s the same as Georgia. They’re upset because they think we want to take away their “heritage” when most really have no connection. At the end of the day they are just a bunch of racists. That flag and any confederate statue belongs in a museum for historical purposes only. Thankfully I’m in a liberal “blue” part of the state so I don’t have to see this crap too often.

    • Beth says:

      I live in central Florida, and I see these flags quite a bit. Lots of people move down here when they retire, so maybe they’re bringing “heritage ” from where they lived before. Seeing confederate flags everywhere and so many Trump lawn signs during the campaign was a nightmare

    • LittlestRoman says:

      I live in Kansas, a state which was purposefully overrun with abolitionists in order to add another ‘free’/non-slave-holding state to the Union. We have ignorant Bubbas here who plaster their gigantic penis-extenders *ahem* pickup trucks with Confederate flags. Almost all of them are of German/Scandinavian stock and their ancestors came to Kansas or other parts of the Midwest directly off the boat in the 1870s-1890s. It’s not about ‘heritage’, it’s about white supremacy.

      • adastraperaspera says:

        @LittlestRoman I grew up in Kansas, and I agree that the people there who love white supremacy now must have snoozed through history class. Back in the day we had decent teachers who had us watch “Roots” and read a book. Heck, you can even just go to Free State Brewery in Lawrence for a beer and learn the basics about who founded Kansas and why from reading the back of the menu. Slave-owning southerners who came across the state line from Missouri and killed settlers were absolutely reviled by our great-great grands. When I was in high school 30+ years ago, not even the dumbest guys had Confederate flags on their truck. Not to say they were anti-racist, but the symbol has been popularized via NRA, gun shows and country music post 9/11, and it’s just gross. It’s appalling to see Confederate flags anywhere there at all. Totally stupid!

    • hogtowngooner says:

      I see them in Canada, FFS!!!

  18. HeatherAnn says:

    Very good and historical summary, and I consign as an amateur history buff. I would add that having just visited Gettysburg that Lee was hardly a military genius. He ordered Pickets charge over a massive huge flat open field straight into Union soldiers dig in uphill. When he see the field, you see how impossible to would be to take. It’s really neither here nor there whetherLee was brilliant but seeing that field, I think It isn’t exactly genius to order your army into sure annihilation.

    • Lizzie says:

      isn’t gettysburg so wild? its just open fields but you can REALLY imagine it (espeically if you have a tour/guidebook) and it is CRAZY to think that these people were battling on essentially open ground hand to hand and with guns that weren’t really powerful enough to like – blow through your body and instantly kill you. these people were just horribly mamed and just laid there and took hours or days to die. i thought it was really spooky.

    • IlsaLund says:

      Gettysburg and other historical sites like it are the only places where there should be monuments to confederate soldiers (in conjunction with Union soldiers). Historical sites can best display both sides in proper context and you gain understanding of the actual events that occurred.

      • LittlestRoman says:

        I agree! In Concord, MA, at the Old North Bridge, there is a small tablet that commemorates the British soldiers who died. I think that’s just about perfect. Yes, the Confederate soldiers were human beings who died. Give them a small plaque on the battlefield, not huge, imposing statues in the middle of public spaces belonging to the country they rebelled against.

  19. Sam the pink says:

    Here’s the thing : Washington was a really complex figure and we can totally have a conversation about the right way to honor his legitimate contributions to the country along with his negatives.

    What I find hysterical about this is that we’re only talking about confederate statues on public lands. They miss that a private landowner has the absolute right to erect whatever they want on their own land. This is about the government placing memorials to an armed insurrection on their grounds. Why not spend their time looking for private citizens willing to house these things on their land? I suspect it’s because they wouldn’t find many takers.

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The Goddess Aphrodite and I are no different.

    We’re both female.
    We both had boys.
    Our time with our sons was split in half due to extenuating circumstances.
    We’ve had lovers.
    We’re both ancient.
    There’s literally no difference between me and the Goddess of Love.

  21. Beth says:

    This asswipe is now tweeting about how removing these statues rips apart US culture. And he’s calling them beautiful. He makes me want to puke

    • Sam the pink says:

      He’s also tweeting that removing the statues will make the parks and spaces they’re in “less beautiful.” It’s laughable. But just in case, I think localities should commit to keeping statues in these spaces – of famous former slaves and abolitionists. Let’s replace Robert Lee with Harriet Tubman, Jefferson Davis with Frederick Douglass, you get the idea. Let them remain memorials, but make them right.

  22. Honey says:

    Jeez. A guy who worked for Trumps campaign is on right now saying Robert E, Lee hated slavery, and Trump thinks the statues should stay so we remember who wanted to end slavery first. Automatically switched the subject to the booming stock market and economy when he was wrong about Robert E. Lee.

    • Sam the pink says:

      LLee defense is a classic case of goalposts moving. Yes, the evidence does indicate that Lee himself did not like the institution of slavery (mostly due to his devout Christianity). However, he also did not embrace racial equality and did believe that blacks were naturally inferior to whites. So there’s that.

      But none of this changes the fundamental point that the man made open war against the government and sought to break up the country. His personal opinions are irrelevant. There should not be statues of people who openly fought for the dissolution of the nation. I do not get why any of this is hard.

    • lightpurple says:

      Abigail Adams wanted to end slavery before there even was a United States and it dismayed her that she was going to live in a White House built by slaves. Let’s tear down all the confederate statues and replace them with statues for Abigail. Oh, she also was pro-vaccine, pro-desegregation of the schools, pro-co-education (girls didn’t go to school then) and a public health care advocate. More Abigail everywhere!

  23. Pansy says:

    I live in the Deep South, was raised here and love it. But the circles in which I work, socialize, etc., are not proud of the slave owning past of our area. The friendly, slow pace of society, sure. The south is diverse, and in my generation and younger multiracial relationships of all kinds abound and I love it. My kids, my family, we love everyone. BUT there are older people I know that still spout this nonsense. And up until a couple of years ago I would be silent–passively racist I see now. It’s a different story now. Now I speak up. But what these idiots don’t understand is that very few of southern ancestors owned slaves! They talk about their heritage….no, your rural southern heritage was probably a bunch of white people who owned their own struggling cotton farm and worked it themselves from age 5 up, who couldn’t graduate high school because they had to work the farms, who may very well have been sharecroppers, who were probably dirt poor in a harsh hot climate. Stop it. Lee, and others like him, didn’t fight for states’ rights, they fought for states’ rights for a handful of rich, entitled Tara-living to own human beings while they laid on porch swings. My ancestors pass down a very different story, one of immigrants and hard work and poverty. Lee wasn’t a hero to these people, and certainly not to our country. Now who’s “erasing history.”

  24. justcrimmles says:

    Get in early on your “removing the statue of Benedict Arnold” outrage! You heard it here first!

    As someone born and raised in the south, by people who were not originally southern, but who have bought into the myths hook, line and sinker, there are myriad things we’re taught that are, when one decides to seek the information for themselves, only meant to keep people divided and complacent. All my life, I heard justification for slavery by “they sold their own people.” As a child, it’s easy enough to believe, because we’re also taught that adults are always right, respect your elders, and older equals wiser. Time, experience, and Google, however, are there to correct these ignorances. People have made it sound like some African tribal leaders were running some 2-for-1 ads on colonial craigslist. Like these poor, beleaguered slave traders didn’t WANT to HAVE to buy humans, but darn it all if the offers made weren’t just too enticing. Some tribal leaders did sell some of their followers, yes. But not on the scale we’re lead to believe. And even then, they regretted it and stopped doing it. And as sickening as all of this is, during the voyage from Africa to north America, a dead slave was worth more than a sick one, and many were thrown overboard (so many, that it was not uncommon for sharks to follow along these ships. Because it was simpler to claim someone jumped overboard than admit to pushing them. Because insurance fraud is a grand tradition.)

    You can’t explain this to some people though, because maybe they can’t stand the scent of flaming cobwebs. Or they’re just racist idiots. I like to believe their parents are siblings, but that’s just me.

  25. Cate says:

    I grew up in the South (NC) also, in a relatively progressive area, and despite that, we definitely still got a somewhat biased version of the Civil War in history classes. Mostly taking the line that the Civil War was a lot about states rights and economic differences between North and South and that slavery just happened to be part of that, rather than that the war was fundamentally about slavery. I actually believed it for quite a while (that the war was “more complicated” than just slavery). I was certainly never at the level of wanting to fly a Confederate flag (and I’m pretty sure my US history teacher who taught us this version of the Civil War was very much pro-civil rights), but I guess still had a somewhat sympathetic view of the Confederacy and could “understand” how people might want to honor/commemorate it. If that’s the viewpoint I came out of a relatively liberal/left-wing southern public school with….I can TOTALLY see how in more conservative areas the “states rights” line of the civil war would be pushed even harder and you’d come out with yahoos who think the white supremacists marching in Cville were justified in their actions.

    As an adult, I happened upon a book in the library that basically took the states rights line of thinking apart and demonstrated just how wrong it was. I wish I could remember the name of the book (have been wracking my brain ever since this latest round of nonsense started up). Anyway, it very convincingly laid out evidence that the primary states right in question was…the right to continue slavery. That slavery really was the primary driving cause of the Civil War, that the Confederacy was all about continuing slavery, and that the idea that the war was more complicated or about a wide array of states rights is a big pile of horse manure.

    I’ve been thinking about that vs. the version I learned in school recently and wondering just how frustrating/infuriating my black classmates must have felt with the version of the Civil War we learned.

    All that is a long way of saying…I see how people are feeling justified making these kinds of comparisons, but it’s a freaking load of baloney. They all need to get the F*** off Twitter and do some reading.

    • IlsaLund says:

      All one has to do is to read the Articles of Confederacy. Every state that seceded from the Union stated clearly that the cause was over slavery….not states rights. The states right to continue slavery. At the time of the Civil War it was estimated that the value of slave labor was $4 billion. No one takes away that kind of money without a fight. It always amazes me that people talk about southern heritage etc, yet fail to acknowledge the truth of that heritage. The economic power of the south was built on the backs of and the blood, sweat and tears of slaves. That’s some heritage to be proud of.

  26. Honey says:

    Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate for Virginias senate is on CNN right now defending Trumps comments about Charlottesville. Saying that Trump was correct and is bad mouthing all the Republicans who don’t agree and MSM. I guess he doesn’t want to be elected

    • IlsaLund says:

      There are enough like minded people in Virginia to support Corey. Folks don’t realize just how racist a state Virginia was. Virginia was one of the main states to codify Jim Crow. Public school systems were closed in Virginia rather than allow school desegregation during the 1960s.

  27. holly hobby says:

    Washington inherited his slaves through his marriage to Martha. He was not a “slave owner” originally and he opposed it. He set his slaves free upon his and his wife’s death. How’s that for a history lesson.

    Also the random POC pics by that trumpanze is disingenuous.

    • ash says:

      @holly hobby

      or…. Washington could have pulled a John Adams and not decided to own slaves…. I truly admire John Adams for that (what an unpopular decision at the time)

      yal cannot whitewash the slave owning aspect and make a lesser of 2 evils. Stop it, its tone deaf.

    • LV487 says:

      George Washington owned slaves since the age of 11…revisionist history gets you nowhere…

    • insertpunhere says:

      Washington definitely owned his own slaves. He did kind of gain more slaves when he married his wife, but they weren’t really his (which makes things more terrible if you read about it because Washington’s slaves intermarried with Martha’s slaves, and post Martha Washington’s death, her slaves reverted to her first husband’s estate while their wives/husbands/halfsiblings/etc were set free).

      Also, I’ve always kind of thought that Washington’s decision to free his slaves after his wife’s death makes him more of a problematic historical figure because what that says to me is that you know slavery is wrong, but it’s just so darn convenient.

      Ultimately, Washington, like most people, is a complicated individual with both good and bad traits. He definitely owned slaves though, and fun fact, his false teeth were not made of wood. Some of them were made of human teeth (also ivory and other materials). Those human teeth though? Came from slaves. That’s just my little bit of horrifying Washington trivia.

      • wolfpup says:

        As much as it may horrify us, most all wealthy people during that time in history owned black people, just like the English/Spanish/French/and other rich Europeans. Slaves were sent in far greater number to South America. What is notable, is that, although it was easy to own another person, (like we feel gas/electricity is our right as US citizens) – the writers of our Constitution knew it wasn’t right.

        The framers of the American Constitution, although somewhat or wholly hypocritical, tried to imagine an inclusive society – where what is self-evident, is what rules… That is really amazing, – that being hypocrites, they imagined a society based on reality (call it the 10 commandments for the ignorant/ Bible believing folks). I don’t know how to make you see more clearly than what they saw, “was self-evident”. Perhaps, they just wanted to kick the can down the road, for all of us, to work for…the slave trade is alive on the earth…let’s start at home, making all of our citizens able to fight the global tyranny of others; the tears of women, children, and populations under siege.

        We should have it right by now, in this country of the brave, and home of the free.

  28. ash says:

    One point (alternate lol) point I’d like to make as a black person..cant speak for all but like 98%….

    We absolutely do not think any of the slave owning forefathers were great men in regards to human rights and civil rights regarding people who DIDNT look like them….the constitution was really intended for white men… thats why July 4th isnt a big day for us and actually like a perpetual slap in the face as when you guys’ forefathers were rebelling they still were riding on the backs of a people based solely on the color of their skin. We instead celebrate Juneteenth 6/19 the day of emancipation from bondage/ending of legal human enslavement (the real day initial day freedom from tyrant and day the country seemed to make efforts toward gaining moral compass)

    in particular i read somewhere that washington had dentures made from teeth of slaves. also that he had a rather tortuous kind of relationship with a young boy slave who would wet himself, which Washington apparently called himself trying to trying to correct. This included having the boy drink his own urine and of course whippings and beatings.

    If all that is pulled from Charlottesville is how one white guy who owned slaves is better than another, as a person of color I’m sicken. Washington was a great man for white people lets be clear yal.

    In the future I wish there will be more realistic discussions on how all yal’s “forefathers” were exceptionally flawed men but that this country is what it is. And honestly who knows what they would have done had slavery been under attack and threatened to end.

    • Sara says:

      I lived in Charlottesville for years, and the darker side of Jefferson’s history was often reported in Albemarle magazine. He believed that native people were subhuman and probably should be eliminated–as did Washington, who firmly believed in eradicating native people. Jefferson turned a blind eye to several of his sadistic foremen at Monticello, and of course now there is clear evidence that Sally Hemings was kept a virtual prisoner and eventually had six children by him. Jefferson’s descendants fought tooth and nail against the whole Hemings story for decades until the evidence became overwhelming. The flip side of their complicated belief in slavery was an even stronger belief that native people were of no value. And remember, the reason African slaves were introduced in the first place was because enslaved native people didn’t provide a big enough cheap workforce for the emerging plantation culture.

      • ash says:

        @sara you comment is supplementary to what im saying which is a great point to bring up the indigenous experience… nevertheless— native and black ppl dont think the “forefathers” were even remotely great men.

        It was quick disappointing that this site just did a manifesto lol on how great washington was in a comparative tone clearing not understadin or disregarding that a good chunk of the commentators are people of color. I hope we come out of Charlottesville incident totally CLARIFIED on this country’s historical figures

        also… i read the reason why enslavement didnt work with natives were sickness (brought on by europeans) and going into a catatonic state.

  29. Veronica says:

    I was reading an interesting Twitter feed the other day wherein the author suggested the REAL reason for the anger over the removal of these monuments is the suggestion that is exhibits the power of the left (and subsequently, minorities) to fight back. For the past decade or so, we’ve had the right characterizing liberals and progressive as “oversensitive,” “snowflakes,” “entitled babies,” etc. Their ideal of strength is based on the traditional white male laborer, all muscle and loaded gun. The left was weak-willed women, too weak to lift the axe from typing away at her computer all day. They convinced themselves it would be easy to put Donald Trump in power and walk all over the rest of us.

    But Charlottesville changes the narrative, not only because it makes it clear that the fascist movement is here and out for blood, but because the backlash is reverberating through the entire social spectrum. There’s a resistance forming, and it isn’t wielding torches or AK-47s, it’s using the Internet to figure out where you live, who you are, and utilizing public identification and exposure to damage your life. It’s showing up to your public parks and ripping down your statues, vandalizing your properties. It’s showing up in protest crowds bigger than the inauguration ceremony and spreading memes about punching Nazis.

    I don’t know if that’s the entire story of what went on here, but I feel like it has an element of truth. These people built a narrative that placed them in a position of ultimate authority while simultaneously casting them as society’s greatest victim, and they’re angry that people aren’t buying it. They thought Trump would get in and everything would fall into place. They didn’t count on the limp-wristed left being willing to throw a punch.

    • Sara says:

      They also are too ignorant to understand that Cville was not the right place to throw their violent tantrums. There’s a very strong tradition of progressive values there and an equally strong contingent of liberal religious institutions founded by freed slaves.

      I see the next flashpoint as Richmond, which has a very strong and disgusting undercurrent of closeted white supremacists who greatly resent that Richmond has a strong black middle class. Monument Avenue also has a zillion of these obnoxious statues, the one exception to which is one of Arthur Ashe–mostly as a condescending concession to the powerful black middle class there. Richmond as a city is nothing but a paean to the glorious Confederacy.

  30. paranormalgirl says:

    There is literally no difference? Um, yes. There literally is a huge difference. They are two totally separate men. That alone is a literal difference.

  31. A.Key says:

    The only good thing about all of this bizarre utter nonsense is that I’m learning a lot about American history LOL


  32. LA Elle says:

    My escapist fantasy for this week: In a retread of the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump is at some event where Obama gets up to talk. Obama is cool, funny, makes a few harmless swipes at Trump and leaves. Trump spends the night rage tweeting about how everyone loves him so much better than Obama.

    The next day, Trump and his cadre of deplorables are arrested. We then find out there was a raid on all Trump properties and the White House during Obama’s speech, and Obama knew about it and had been brought in to distract the Orange Turd.

  33. Suze says:

    I will hold my third rate education up against Donald Trumps first rate education all day long. We actually read the Acts of Succession in high school. Four of thirteen actually mention slavery as the reason for succession. And other primary texts and documents indicate it was true for all thirteen.

    Thank you, Mr. Seaver.

  34. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Funny how in Cohen’s twitter black friends pics, he is almost entirely shown in the same suit and tie. Greasing palms with a crips Benjamin, no doubt.

  35. brincalhona says:

    Thanks to everyone for your brilliant posts and comments on this issue. It would be nice to see some appropriate artwork placed near these statues for however long they remain, as Fearless Girl was on Wall Street. Also, I thought US citizens pledged allegiance to the flag so surely respecting the Confederate flag is tantamount to treason and should earn those convicted a Trump-coloured Guantanamo uniform and one-way ticket.

  36. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The thing is… Pick a point in history and show me something we can’t dissect, be disgusted by and shake our heads with disbelief. Our forefathers may not have been truly superior men by today’s standards, but we simply can’t dismiss context. Crimes against humanity have historically come in many different forms of slavery and unspeakable horrors. From ancient and prerecorded history to today’s human trafficking and huge pockets of war crimes peppering the globe… humans have consistently illustrated capacities for abhorrent behavior. Each and every century has proven this point… we can’t erase it; we can’t and shouldn’t water it down or refuse to acknowlege it. It’s our road, our journey and to affect change is to know about our past, both good and bad, and keep fighting for the same things humans have been fighting for across millenia. And I don’t mean literal fighting as that’s too easy and we’ve got that down. We have to fight smarter.

  37. Tess says:

    Germany has no statues or monuments honoring the Nazi movement because they recognize that that was a dark period in their history that hurt, affected, and killed millions worldwide. What they do have are memorials commemorating the loss soldiers on all sides including Nazis. There is even a memorial just off of Normandy beach commemorating the German lives lost there. Furthermore Nazi emblems are strictly prohibited in Germany and fined. There are people still alive who lived that time in Germany since it was 70-ish years ago, compared to the Civil War which was two centuries ago. Not to mention statues honoring people are very different from memorials honoring military contributions or loss of life in general from whatever side. You have to be very thick headed to not to see the difference. Confederate statues are literally the equivalent of statues of Hitler, Goehrig (sp?), Himmler, Rommel, etc.