More on Stone Mountain

I see that I’ve touched a nerve by commenting on Stone Mountain and recent discussions about the portrayal of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve seen a lot of passion, but not a lot of reason, in some of the responses.

Note first that I simply reported the options being discussed. I offered no recommendations or suggestions. I happen to think that the Outkast suggestion is ridiculous, but others don’t … or they are advancing it to make a point.

Nor did I say that the face of the mountain need celebrate Georgia’s history. For example, I did not suggest a carving of one part of the Chastain family tree sending another part away on the Trail of Tears, although that, too, is part of Georgia’s history … however much someone today may wish otherwise.

As for what born and bred southerners may or may not understand, the member of the Atlanta City Council who’s behind the proposal to study the future of Stone Mountain is Michael Julian Bond, son of Julian Bond. The elder Bond was born in Tennessee; the younger Bond claims that he’s a fifth-generation Atlantan. Is there some reason someone wouldn’t consider him a born and bred southerner?

Stone Mountain is a state park featuring an amusement park. The amusement park’s ads currently show a Wild West train show this month, not exactly a way to celebrate southern heritage (unless they were doing Bleeding Kansas and the Trail of Tears, I guess). It includes a carillion from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, which I attended (clearly a sign of Yankee intrusion). I’m surprised anyone thought it was a national monument.

Finally, Stone Mountain is a historic place, but not because of the carvings on its face. It’s a historic place because of its associations with the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan. Note that the site’s defenders are silent about this. The carvings and the development of the site during the years 1915 to 1935 were as much about celebrating the KKK as it was about remembering three generals who contributed little to the defense of Georgia during the American Civil War. It draws together Confederate heritage with white supremacy.

I note that not a single critic questioned my account of Georgia and the Civil War, especially the roles played by Davis, Lee, and Jackson, or the uneasy relationship between the state and the Confederate central government. Stone Mountain’s commemoration conceals that historical reality. The best critics could muster was some sort of hysterical ranting claiming that I said Davis, Lee, and Jackson shouldn’t be there because they were not from Georgia. Read the post, people: you aren’t flattering your own intelligence. It’s Councilman Bond who wants to bring the carvings closer to Georgia’s past … its entire past … and he’s a born and bred southerner.

So what we have here is non-Georgians (outsiders) complaining about what Georgians want to do (sounds like Davis versus Joe Brown, eh?) while claiming special rights for southerners (although one claims it’s a national monument, which means I have a say, too). Here’s the harsh truth, folks: it’s southerners who are leading the way in changing how the South remembers the American Civil War. Oh, sure, there are some northern-born folks involved, but you can’t tell me that the entire state legislature of South Carolina’s a Yankee enclave … or that Memphis is run by Yankees … or that the Georgia city council is a bunch of outsiders (and who elected them? more outsiders?). These battles over Confederate heritage are being fought largely by southerners, white and black, and those who whine about outsiders are outsiders themselves when it comes to the communities involved.

The South is changing. Get used to it. You can’t celebrate the election of a governor and a senator of color in South Carolina as evidence of your region’s acceptance of diversity one moment and then call them outsiders the next. That reveals a deep hypocrisy among those people, a bankruptcy of character as well as a lack of intelligence. If, one hundred years after Stone Mountain’s emergence as a popular site due to its links with the KKK, a fifth generation southerner wants to move the site away from its associations with the founding of a terrorist group, you must attempt to engage in that discussion fairly. But if the best Confederate heritage-conscious southerners can do is to threaten people, engage in childish rants, and sell trash based on the design of the Confederate flag, I can tell you that you don’t stand a chance of prevailing, and the fault will lie within yourselves.

61 thoughts on “More on Stone Mountain

  1. Sandi Saunders July 23, 2015 / 9:55 am

    True enough, the trashing of the South is all on them.

  2. Stefan Jovanovich July 23, 2015 / 10:25 am

    Perhaps people are reacting to this comment: “I vowed when I moved to Atlanta in 1988 that I would never set foot on the grounds of Stone Mountain until that carving glorifying those terrorists is gone, and I won’t.” Councilman Lee also compares the frieze of Lee, Davis and Jackson to the image of “the Nazi swastika”,

    http://www.atlantaintownpaper.com/2015/07/city-council-approves-some-pay-raises-calls-for-stone-mountain-study-group/

    Looking for moral lessons in art is always a bit dodgy. There does not seem to be any necessary connection between being good and being nice.

    Pop quiz: Who said, “I feel it is due to the KKK that saved us from Negro domination and carpetbag rule”?

    Answer: The Sculptor of Mount Rushmore.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutzon_Borglum

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 23, 2015 / 10:47 am

      Maybe, but they didn’t say that. And we’ve already covered both the article you cite as well as Borglum’s career and views, so you aren’t bringing anything new to the table. Thanks for recycling my links.

    • John Foskett July 23, 2015 / 11:27 am

      Nobody’s discussing “moral lessons in art”. Mount Rushmore is a National Memorial. Stone Mountain is a “Memorial”. We’re not talking about a Rodin exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.

  3. Cedar Posts July 23, 2015 / 10:36 am

    MJB might have been born in the south but that doesn’t make him a southerner. Just because a cat has her kittens in an oven doesn’t make them biscuits, now does it?

    As far as 5th generation, that’s not saying much either.

    Stone Mountian is a tourist attraction and a pretty popular one at that. The KKK lost their access years ago.

    Finally Atlanta would be wise to tend to their own back yard, Stone Mountian, GA,is just fine without their meddling.

    • liwinsphotos July 23, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      One reason these monuments provoke such hostility among People is that anyone who is black, or whose familyhas “only” been Living in a state five generations is described as an outsider.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 23, 2015 / 6:14 pm

      Ah, so now you need to be born in the South to be a southerner, but that isn’t enough. You can be a fifth-generation southerner, but that isn’t enough. Wonder who makes these rules …

      • Cedar Posts July 24, 2015 / 3:30 am

        No Brooks being born in the South doesn’t make you a Southener and given the demographics of 21st century African American families being 5th generation doesn’t count for much either.

        • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 8:44 am

          Ah, so your response singles out black families for different treatment than white families when it comes to being a southerner. Thanks for the clarification.

          Betty, you might want to modify what you said about being born and bred a southerner. Do you agree with this fellow’s treating blacks differently than whites on this issue?

          • Cedar Posts July 24, 2015 / 10:54 am

            It’s not a black or white issue nor a north vs south issue. Folks in Maine, (Mainers not maniacs) will tell you the same. The lat and long of the hospital you were born at has little to do with who you are neither does your skin color.

            Being has everything to do with what defines you, what manners you have, how you treat people how they treat you. Southerners don’t for example dig up their neighbors dead relatives, no matter how much they disagree with their politics.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 12:23 pm

            And yet the people of Memphis dug up the Forrests and moved them from a Confederate cemetery to a town park. Guess those folks weren’t southerners, by your reckoning.

            You still haven’t told us who makes these rules. If someone decides to say they are a southerner, who are you or anyone else to say otherwise?

            Is Raymond Agnor a good southerner? You read the blog. You tell me.

  4. Rosieo July 23, 2015 / 10:37 am

    It always amazes me that people pick up on one part of one thing that is said and run with it, expand it, and circle back to blame the person who said that first one thing for alleged certain doom.
    Today, with communications flying everywhere, one has to stand up for oneself or take serious risk of being defined by the expanders.
    Everybody needs a blog,

    BTW if the KKK did the mountain carvings, I’m for leaving them to nature’s ways with zero further human intervention. This could be a significant benign statement at zero cost.

  5. OhioGuy July 23, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    “The South is changing. Get used to it. You can’t celebrate the election of a governor and a senator of color in South Carolina as evidence of your region’s acceptance of diversity one moment and then call them outsiders the next. That reveals a deep hypocrisy among those people, a bankruptcy of character as well as a lack of intelligence. If, one hundred years after Stone Mountain’s emergence as a popular site due to its links with the KKK, a fifth generation southerner wants to move the site away from its associations with the founding of a terrorist group, you must attempt to engage in that discussion fairly. But if the best Confederate heritage-conscious southerners can do is to threaten people, engage in childish rants, and sell trash based on the design of the Confederate flag, I can tell you that you don’t stand a chance of prevailing, and the fault will lie within yourselves.”

    This is an excellent summary of the situation, Brooks, IMHO. If I could be so presumptuous as to summarize your summary in one sentence: The Lost Cause has lost — get over it, already!😉

    • Cedar Posts July 28, 2015 / 5:28 am

      The South might look like it’s changing, the influx of folks from Ohio is certainly alarming, but behind the gated communities and country clubs the wealth of the South continues unchanged and unchallenged.

      Augusta National has changed Condie Rice is now a member, but Augusta’s second and in many ways more exclusive golf club continues, as a bastion of Southern culture and decorum. The name of this club Seccesion.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 28, 2015 / 11:17 am

        You mean the folks at Augusta can’t spell “secession”?

        • Cedar Posts July 29, 2015 / 12:47 pm

          Spelling while rocketing down the interstate not a priority.

          But the idea that the South is changing is folly. The perception may be, the illusion may seem, but the truth is the South changes on her own time table.

          Augusta National is no more integrated today under Billy Payne than it was a decade ago under Hootie Johnson.

          But everyone thinks they’ve changed.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 29, 2015 / 2:40 pm

            I’m sure the South changed on its own timetable between 1861 and 1865, for example.

  6. Betty Giragosian July 23, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Brooks, I am going to use some space to comment on several replies. I will address a couple of comments made to me.

    One person asked if I did not like the idea of a person of color ( my words) being president or his likeness being on Stone Mountain. A president being black does not bother me one bit. Dr. Ben Carson or Allen West are two good choices. I would love to have either of these good Republicans in the White House for two terms. Dr. King, Dr Carver, Booker T.Washington would be great additions, and being Southerners adds to their appeal. I know there are other names from which to choose and I am sure they will be suggested.

    I had not heard about Michael Bond wanting to expand the images on Stone Mountain. I had never heard of Michael Bond. His daddy taught at UVA–don’t know if he still does but he is a racist with a large chip on his shoulder. l don’t care if the proposed faces are black or white or purple polka dot.

    Since Stone Mountain is perceived as a a bunch of traitors and racists, I do wonder why anyone with a beef against it would want to have representation on it. Why not find another mountain nearby, and go from there? Maybe one that is a little higher. It is so childish, to the point of being absurd.

    Debbie and I got the impression that that you thought that the figures on Stone Mountain should not be there because they had spent no time in Georgia. Our error–I guess.

    To us, these men are not and never will be traitors, It will take more than your group of about 300 readers to change our minds.

    • John Foskett July 23, 2015 / 3:39 pm

      Betty: I’ll wager that very few people here are all that concerned about whether you change your mind. Facts are facts. Folks like Robert E. Lee took an oath which read as follows:

      “”I, _____, appointed a _____ in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.”

      Lee and the others who took that oath violated it. Moreover, the secessionists began a war by firing on a United State military installation. There is no dispute, and never has been, regarding who fired the first shot.

      As for whether secession was “lawful”, guess who aid this about secession in a letter to his son in January, 1861:

      “The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it were intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for perpetual union, so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government (not a compact) which can only be dissolved by revolution, or by the consent of all the people in convention assembled”.

      Secession wasn’t lawful. It was an illegal rebellion barred by the Constitution.

    • Stefan Jovanovich July 23, 2015 / 7:34 pm

      People here are a little shaky on the question of dual sovereignty, Betty. The idea that Lee felt a genuine conflict of duties between his Federal oath and his Virginia citizenship is simply beyond their imagining. It was not beyond Grant’s. He did not fault Lee for choosing loyalty to his state; after all, the Constitution makes it very clear that we all are citizens of our State and of the United States. And it makes equally clear that neither the Congress nor the President nor the Supreme Court has superior authority over a State except where the States’ authority is proscribed – as in the coining of money. In that sense Lee was anything but a traitor. But Grant was right to think Lee’s accepting the sovereignty of the Confederacy was a terrible wrong. Had Lee and the Virginia militia respected Federal property and defended their State’s independence against military intervention, Grant would have had a different opinion. Since Stone Mountain is the State of Georgia’s property,the Governor and the Legislature can do whatever they want; and the citizens of Atlanta are equally free to have their representatives study the question of whose face should be added to the frieze. But I pray that you Georgians will avoid polka dots. All the best.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 23, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        Imagining is one thing, justifying’s another. Please cite your evidence concerning Grant’s views.

        • Stefan Jovanovich July 23, 2015 / 8:00 pm

          1. He never once wrote the word treason or traitor in his descriptions of Lee or any other rebel.

          2. He opposed all attempts by Johnson to seek punishments for treason.

          3. He avoided the lawyer’s curse that afflicted Lincoln and Chase and so many others; the Federal cause was Union, not National government supremacy.

          4. Grant not only swore to uphold the Constitution; he also knew what it actually said, even on the arcane question of legal tender. Equal sovereignty was never the confusion for him that it was – and is – for people who think States have only the rights Washington allows them to have.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 23, 2015 / 8:10 pm

            Surely you know that the reason why Grant opposed prosecuting Lee for treason had nothing to do with his opinion on whether Lee had committed treason.

            You also might want to check your claim about Grant’s use of the word treason.

          • Stefan Jovanovich July 23, 2015 / 11:43 pm

            Surely you know that the entire debate was over the question of whether rebellion equalled treason. Grant would not have accepted the paroles of men he considered traitors and, as already noted, he was careful never to use the language that Sumner and others chose.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 12:54 am

            I’m afraid you’re wrong. But thanks for trying to tell me what you believed Grant said.

            As for what Grant said about treason, start here:

            http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/search/collection/USG_volume/searchterm/Treason/order/nosort

            Grant made his viewpoint on the Lee prosecution very clear: it was a political decision. Read Grant to Stanton, June 16, 1865, in which he said the Appomattox parole prevented trials for treason so long as the surrendered Confederates behaved lawfully. As Grant put it, those Confederates who surrendered under the terms given at Appomattox “can not be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith as well as true policy dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention.” Thus one can also conclude that a violation of those terms would remove the prohibition to try them for treason.

            During his trip around the world, he justified the denial of suffrage to former Confederates: “As to depriving them, even for a time, of suffrage, that was our right as a conqueror, and it was a mild penalty for the stupendous crime of treason.”

            Reread that sentence … “the stupendous crime of treason.”

            He believed in the concept, even if you don’t believe he did. I’ll take his word over yours.

          • Stefan Jovanovich July 24, 2015 / 5:06 am

            “He never once wrote the word treason or traitor in his descriptions of Lee or any other rebel.”

            Thank you for the text search; I had done one.

            I don’t think you will find among those documents any writings by Grant in which he makes the assertion that so-and-so was a traitor. On the contrary, he is very careful not to. In his 1867 His letter about General Smith to Chief Justice Chase, Grant does use the words you quoted but they are Grant’s description of his own legal holding, as head of the Army. He is not offering any opinion about Smith or Smith’s actions in the rebellion.

            Your other example – “As to depriving them, even for a time, of suffrage, that was our right as a conqueror, and it was a mild penalty for the stupendous crime of treason.” – is not something Grant wrote but a quotation of what he is alleged to have said. The hyperbole alone makes it suspect; Grant avoided using melodramatic words like “stupendous”.

            I do hope you will take Grant’s word over mine; I do. But I think we are still searching for an example of his writing. So far the dog has not yet barked in the night; and that is, as Holmes is reported by Watson to have said, the interesting fact. All the best.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 7:08 am

            I am sure you believe what you say. Evidence has no impact on that.

          • John Foskett July 24, 2015 / 6:59 am

            “Grant not only swore to uphold the Constitution…”

            You appear to have a flexible standard regarding when and where an oath is binding.

          • Stefan Jovanovich July 24, 2015 / 7:55 am

            Brooks, I am happy to look at any evidence from Grant’s own writings that you have; but I think even John might concede that we are still in the realm of a Scottish verdict. If you have a specific quotation from Grant’s own hand naming a Southerner as a traitor or someone guilty of treason, I would love to see the link and will be happy to concede. The interesting but less than reliable quotation from Grant’s accompanying journalist must, in the absence of third party confirmation, be considered what the lawyers call hearsay.

            The question of oaths is interesting. The one Lee took and the one I did are almost identical, and both have a feature not always noted. They have no limit. I am still bound by the one I took as an officer in the U.S. Navy even though I have tendered the resignation of my commission and had the resignation accepted. Lee was equally bound; that is why Grant could not accept his having taken the oath to serve the Confederacy. But that oath did not prevent Lee from having the right to “disobey” what he considered to be unconstitutional authority. Had he taken up arms only to defend Virginia and had the Virginia legislature limited its rebellion to a refusal to accept Congress’ military authority over the State, Lee would have had as good a Constitutional argument as Lincoln had in ordering another State’s militia to invade Virginia. Swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States does not commit a person to surrendering his own judgment about whether or not the government itself is acting legally. The oath is very specific; it obligates one to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. It does not obligate a person to obey every order by a person claiming Federal authority.

      • John Foskett July 24, 2015 / 6:56 am

        Some people here are a little shaky on oaths undertaken voluntarily and knowingly, Betty.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 23, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      Well, to take your last comment first, you’re a bit off in the number of people who come daily to this blog. I’ll leave it at that.

      Second, it’s difficult to influence a mind when the owner resists change as a rule. That’s okay. I welcome your participation, but you’re not a target audience.

      Moreover, it’s a bit difficult to engage in conversation with you when you misread what I’ve posted. Talk about being blinded by anger. I don’t think you deliberately distort what I say (that would land you in Chastainland), but in this conversation you’ve assumed arguments not in evidence, and I’m disappointed by that. You need to separate what I say from what people say in the comments.

      That said, Betty’s always behaved in a civil and proper manner here. We don’t always disagree, but I value her perspective. Let’s treat her as she treats us. Thank you.

  7. bob carey July 24, 2015 / 4:28 am

    Brooks,
    Your comments concerning Grant are spot on, I could not agree more with you on them. I believe Grant’s sense of honor is on a much higher plane than that of Lee’s. His reputation has suffered far to long at the altar of the “Lost Cause”. You should be commended for rectifying that situation.
    Although I may be off topic here permit me to ask a spectulative question.
    If Lincoln had wanted harsher terms of surrender do you think that Grant would have complied ?

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 7:09 am

      Grant observed the subordination of military to civilian authorities.

      • bob carey July 26, 2015 / 8:04 am

        Brooks’
        Permit me to rephrase my question. Is their anything in the historical record which would suggest that Grant, if left to his own devices would have imposed harsher terms on Lee and the ANV?

  8. OhioGuy July 24, 2015 / 7:31 am

    Stefan, first let me say that you are barking up the wrong tree arguing about Grant with one of the foremost Grant scholars of our day. I’m not saying he might not be wrong on a subtle point or two here or there and, of course, some matters are open to interpretation and have no right or wrong answer. However, I’d give the man a little more deference than you are doing.

    One case in point, you say: “Your other example – ‘As to depriving them, even for a time, of suffrage, that was our right as a conqueror, and it was a mild penalty for the stupendous crime of treason.’ – is not something Grant wrote but a quotation of what he is alleged to have said. The hyperbole alone makes it suspect; Grant avoided using melodramatic words like ‘stupendous.'”

    I once had a question about another quote from that same book. It was a very strongly worded statement about slavery and the meaning of the war attributed to Grant as he was speaking to Otto Von Bismarck on his post-presidency world tour. Instead of assuming that it was hyperbole and not accurate, I asked Frank Scaturro, another Grant scholar of some repute, about the accuracy of the quote. What Frank told me was surprising and reflects on your statement. Frank said that the quotes in this book are considered highly accurate — much more so than those in contemporary news accounts — because Grant read the manuscript prior to publication and approved all of the quotes. Puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?

    • Stefan Jovanovich July 24, 2015 / 8:03 am

      I think Brooks is great. He is also very weak on Resumption, which is not an issue that interested him or Smith or any of the other Grant biographers. I love Frank Scaturro also, but I think he and Brooks are both being very careless to accept these “as heard by” anecdotes as fact without any corroboration. That may be the hopeless bias of too many decade of thinking as a lawyer; but it does have its uses in assessing what can actually be considered evidence. If you or anyone else will find me a quotation from Grant’s own hand about a Southerner’s treason, I will be happy to concede.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 8:09 am

        As I have not written on resumption, I have no idea how one can reach that assessment. Apparently my major weakness is that I don’t adopt Stefan’s views. That evidence contradicts them is no problem, at least to Stefan. Thus there is no need to pursue a discussion. It would be like reasoning with Connie Chastain.

        • Stefan Jovanovich July 24, 2015 / 8:31 am

          I was referring to your biography’s treatment of the issue. That is why I mentioned Jean Smith. all the best.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 8:40 am

            Now you are referring to that which has not been written … namely, the volume of the biography that covers 1865-1885. So you are attacking something I haven’t written. This is novel.

            I think folks now understand why I think this conversation is a waste of my time.

          • Stefan Jovanovich July 24, 2015 / 9:02 am

            My apologies. For me the question of Resumption begins with the Act of July 17, 1861. I would have avoided the confusion if I had used another phrase but “resumption” was the question that people raised, both North and South, throughout the war. I don’t think you gave it as much importance as Grant himself did, but that is, of course, a matter of opinion. I do think we can end the matter here; but, if you do run across a piece of treason paper with Grant’s signature on it, I would be happy to concede. Perhaps you can ask one of your students to do the research for you.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 9:27 am

            First, I don’t have my students do my research. You really are getting snide, aren’t you? Or is it simple ignorance?

            You are free to discuss what Grant said about US monetary policy during the American Civil War, specifically when it comes to resumption. Offer evidence drawn from his writings as to what he said between 1861 and 1865. Otherwise, you would be espousing your unsupported opinion.

            We’ll wait.

            Grant signed the June 16, 1865 endorsement. So I welcome your concession. We can move on.

      • OhioGuy July 24, 2015 / 8:24 am

        If the person quoted approves the quote how can you not accept that it reflected what he said and his true feeling? And, what does Brooks’ attitude and/or scholarship on monetary policy have to do with the present discussion? I guess as a good lawyer, if you don’t have a good counter argument you change the subject. 😉

        • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 8:41 am

          Stefan made certain claims that are contradicted by Grant’s endorsement to Stanton of June 16, 1865, part of which I quoted. He promptly ignored that response while saying that he welcomed discussing what Grant wrote.

          You see the problem.

          • OhioGuy July 24, 2015 / 8:59 am

            Ahh . . . now that you mention it, yes. The Stanton letter quote in context does say exactly the opposite of Stefan’s assertions as to Grant’s use of the term “treason.” Also, seen in that light, the quote from the McCabe book would seem to be corroborating evidence not contradictory evidence of your interpretation of the Stanton letter quote.

          • Brooks D. Simpson July 24, 2015 / 9:29 am

            It’s clear that Stefan’s wrong. Now he’s trying to be snide and smug. I’m putting an end to the conversation, because it is no longer educational or productive. I have better things to do.

            Stefan characterizes himself as a “professional pain-in-the-ass.” I agree. He can now sit on it in time out.

  9. Charles Lovejoy July 25, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    It’s a work of art, the largest bas-relief in the world. Like the other countless carvings around the world I think it should be left as is. I’ve been to the Black Hills many times over the years, Mount Rushmore is not welcomed by many in the Native American community. They didn’t try to remove Mount Rushmore , they built their own monument, the Crazy Horse memorial, .I see Mount Rushmore as tacky where it is located. Do I want it removed? No, it’s a work of art also . Art is to provoke though and emotion. Sometimes things tend to become over intellectualized and over analyzed. I don’t get humans at times, remember when Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed the bare breasted classic statues were indecent and wanted them covered up? Reminds me of covering up the stone mountain carving. I find this whole thing comical.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 25, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      Well, you must admit Stone Mountain’s provoking emotion. Thought? Maybe.

      • Charles Lovejoy July 26, 2015 / 8:02 am

        I’m turning my ADD off and putting some thought into it…. will return

      • Lyle Smith July 26, 2015 / 2:22 pm

        Stone Mountain is not only provoking emotion, but being used by people to provoke emotion (what’s new?). It isn’t just about Stone Mountain.

        You know this though.

      • Charles Lovejoy July 28, 2015 / 12:01 pm

        I think the Stone Mountain carving is an art creation. If it provokes emotion , that what art does. If it provokes whatever emotion in an observer , the observer should look inward at where the emotion is coming from, not at removing the art. It’s provoking to some and some it’s not. Growing up in the area I have heard very few bring the subject up. I think the majority of both white and black are indifferent and not a source of regular focus. I see a large part as a political, internet and media frenzy, not something rank and file people dwell on. I find myself again in agreement with Andrew Young on the issue as I have over the years on many other issues. His statements in part are >”The flag is a symbol that means a lot of things to a lot of people when you get to institutions like Washington and Lee University,” claimed Young.”<” “I would never trade the flag for a single job,” also “The problems we face don’t have anything to do with the flag. The fact is that 93% of black people killed are killed by other black people. So black lives matter. Let us start believing that we matter.”<<< Even as UN ambassador Andrew Young laid his cards on the table and has never held back, even taking the blunt of critics. I have always respected Andrew Young for that and time in most cases show Andrew Young's positions as a voice of reason. I take far more offense and anger towards custodial, janitorial and other service workers in the big hotels and office buildings in Atlanta not being unionized and making better livable wages. Many of the poor in Atlanta intercity rely on these jobs and they are one of the only sources of employment for many. Far more important than any flag of any kind anywhere to me . Issues like this to me are far more important than a flag debate. And I fully understand I am out of sink with most on this issue, out of sink with both sides.

  10. Al Mackey July 26, 2015 / 10:04 am

    “He never once wrote the word treason or traitor in his descriptions of Lee or any other rebel.”

    Demonstrably false. “Whatever may have been my political opinions before, I have but one sentiment now. That is, we have a Government, and laws and a flag, and they must all be sustained. There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots and I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter, and I trust, the stronger party.” [US Grant to Jesse R. Grant, 21 Apr 1861] Seems to me he just wrote the word “traitor” to describe every rebel in the Civil War. That would include R. E. Lee.

    “He avoided the lawyer’s curse that afflicted Lincoln and Chase and so many others; the Federal cause was Union, not National government supremacy.” See the above quote.

    “He opposed all attempts by Johnson to seek punishments for treason.” Grant opposed treason trials for all confederates who were covered by the terms of the surrender: “This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by U. S. authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.”

    “Grant avoided using melodramatic words like ‘stupendous’ ”
    Apparently not.
    http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/search/collection/USG_volume/searchterm/stupendous/field/all/mode/any/conn/and/order/title/ad/asc

    • John Foskett July 26, 2015 / 11:41 am

      Well done. These are the risks of making up history instead of actually doing the leg work.

    • Stefan Jovanovich July 26, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you for finding that use of the word “traitor” by Grant. There is no question Grant had those thoughts in 1861. I lose the bet.

      I am not so certain I also struck out on the question of the use of the word “stupendous”. In the search results I checked, I find the word uses occurred in the footnotes, not in Grant’s own writing itself. But, then, I failed so find the 1861 letter in my review of the search results so it would be the better part of wisdom to double-check that search result as well.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 26, 2015 / 7:50 pm

        Check on how Grant described the failure at the Crater in his Memoirs: “The effort was a stupendous failure.”

      • Al Mackey July 26, 2015 / 8:15 pm

        See PUSG Vol 18 p. 72. USG to Henry Wilson 19 Dec 1867.

  11. OhioGuy July 26, 2015 / 11:11 am

    “This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by U. S. authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.”

    And, when as president they failed to follow the law and their paroles, he sent in the U.S. Army to enfoce the order and the law.

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