Descendant of one of the Southerners who died on Georges Island says tear that Confederate memorial down

A Floridian who spent some time in Boston in the 1980s discovered one of her ancestors was a coal shoveler on a Confederate steamer who was captured and sent to Fort Warren on Georges Island, where he died. She writes today why she thinks the now covered-up memorial to him and 12 other rebels should be taken down:

For starters, it was put up under the auspices of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the less you have to do with those myth-making coots, the better.

But more importantly, the monument is injected with the same poison that blights our fate as a country — the conceit that God had any part in the foul business of the Confederacy, and the insinuation that there was anything remotely honorable or noble about “the cause” it represented.

So take it down, Massachusetts. You have the blessing and encouragement of this descendant of the dead. But more importantly, you have the moral imperative of the living, and a responsibility to those yet to be born.

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Comments

C'mon

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This is literally the opinion of one person. It's history. It happened. Get over it. Learn from these mistakes from the past.

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The only people who aren't

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The only people who aren't over this war and act of treason that happened 150 years ago are racist Trump supporters. People can't enjoy the Common this weekend because intolerant brats will be throwing a tantrum there because they have a case of the sads that women and minorities want equal rights.

Having a confederate statue in America makes as much sense as having one dedicated to the Al-Qaeda hijackers who died on 9/11. They are both terrorists who attacked this country and killed Americans.

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Hey, now - I'm a Trump

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Hey, now - I'm a Trump supporter and am not a racist. My orthopedic surgeon and one of my gynecologists are both African-American. Had a lot of Jewish doctors, too.

Don't lump us all into the same category. I'm still glad he is the prez, and would not want that witch Hillary in the WH for all the tea in China.

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I can't tell if you're

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I can't tell if you're serious or not, because the idea that you can't be racist because you hire people of color is so freaking absurd.

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Wait.

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Are you actually trying to prove that you're not racist because you've had black and Jewish *doctors*? You can't even manage that old saw of, "I have a black/Jewish friend"? You have to cite people who were literally PAID to put up with you?

Amazing.

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Witch?

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It was almost possible to believe you until you wrote "that with Hillary." Then you wilingness to get nasty, vicious and dirty came out. That is how you loose credibility.

Your willingness to resort to elementary school insults aside why do you support a man who proudly stated he can grab any woman by her genitials? Or who refused to do what any person of any sense would do in condemning racists and Nazis immediately, with ambiguity or ambivalence?

Your reasoning is a good example of Churchills' quote about democracy.

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Depends

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Are we talking an amicable split between parties that realize they have nothing in common anymore, or partner A trying to kill partner B because B says they're sick of A's cruelty and violence?

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hey, lookit!

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it's another "literally the opinion of one person"

monuments don't simply appear out of nowhere as the natural by-product of "history", who and what are honored and remembered, and the spaces they occupy are the result of deliberate decisions made by people with money and influence who want to influence others.

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The mistake that was made was

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The mistake that was made was allowing monuments to traitors. The only way to "get over it" is to remove them.

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History is taught in books

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History is taught in books and museums. This is glorification. We don't put up monuments to Hitler - we teach about him in a way that puts him in his proper context. The idea that these statues are about "history" is ridiculous. These monuments were put up as intimidation tactics whenever racists felt like they needed to reassert their dominance over black people. Just look at the timeline of when these monuments were erected and it becomes clear. This isn't about history, it's about racism.

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Extremely well said

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I'm glad that she spoke out against the national brain rot that is segregationist racism.

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Baloney!

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All of this is such baloney! Nobody commenting here about how "we need to take these statues down" felt that way 2 weeks ago. NOBODY! Seriously you are embarrassing yourselves. People are acting like they've crusaded for this for years. These statues have been up for eons and you know what? Leave them up! Better to spark educated conversation than to force a one-way opinion on everyone. Should we also now ban Ken Burns' The Civil War because he dedicated chapters and segments to Confederates? Should we start burning books? Listen to yourselves! Sad.

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Baloney? Try bullshit

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Maybe nobody in Boston realized this was an issue two weeks ago, because this area is largely bereft of tributes to traitorous supporters of slavery, but it has, in fact, been an issue elsewhere for decades.

And enough with the stupid "we'll all forget history" crap. There are no statues around here of the guy who was the king of England in 1776, and yet, we can all instantly recite his name. Books are truly an amazing thing.

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"myth-making coots"

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is my new Go-To Phrase of 2017.

This lady, I like her.

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Red Sox have chimed in!

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John Henry is going to lead the charge to change the name of Yawkey way. This is going to cause major problems for the MBTA. If they change the name of Yawkey station they will be forced to change the names of several stations named after slave masters.

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CONFEDERATE MEMORIALS

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Can we make a distinction between the leaders of the confederacy and the poor private soldiers who died under their orders

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CONFEDERATES

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Can you give me cite for your source of that information?

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Can you do a simple web search?

Or, maybe, try the Official Website for George's Island?

During the Civil War, Fort Warren served as a prison for Confederate officers and government officials. James M. Mason and John Slidell, the Confederate diplomats seized in the Trent Affair, were among those held at the fort. High ranking civilians held at Fort Warren include Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens and Confederate Postmaster General John Reagan.

Think Alcatraz, not the county lock up. They didn't waste coal transporting cannon fodder conscripts this far North, and it didn't matter if a semi-literate farmer made his way back to his unit so much as a high ranking official escaping. No. Fort Warren held people who they absolutely did not want to get out - people who had the agency to form networks to return them to high-ranking service should they escape closer to the Confederate borders. They may have been well treated, but this was an absolutely maximum security facility, with natural barriers to escape.

Also noteworthy: 13/2000 total prisoners that made it through the fort is exceptionally low, even by modern standards. You would be hard pressed to have only 13 people die in a community of 2000 people in 4 years in that day and age.

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bring it down

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Statues/memorials are for HEROS. Confederates did not fight for a noble cause. Especially for those with deep roots in Massachusetts. Put all this shit in mueseums and document it in books and online. Thats where it belongs.

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