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Walsh should make sure headless Christopher Columbus has some room next to him in the warehouse for the embarrassing Emancipation statue
By adamg on Thu, 06/11/2020 - 9:00pm
As long as white people are getting woke, they need to do something about that cringe-worthy statue sort of hidden away in Park Square that shows a benevolent Lincoln waving away slavery on top of a half-naked black man on his knees - like get Mayor Walsh to stick the thing in a warehouse somewhere, Tory Bullock exclaims:
Yes, of course there's a petition.
Via Greg Cook.
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Not a Freed Man Depicted
I agree 100%! These articles are good reads:
A monument to white supremacy stands uncontested in our own back yard
Boston’s Misguided Emancipation Monument
But, it is a Freedmen's Monument.
It is, in the opinion of Frederick Douglass. Here's a copy of his speech. You can cherry pick other writers quoting him, but take it from the source, here:
"Friends and Fellow-citizens:
I warmly congratulate you upon the highly interesting object which has caused you to assemble in such numbers and spirit as you have today. This occasion is in some respects remarkable. Wise and thoughtful men of our race, who shall come after us, and study the lesson of our history in the United States; who shall survey the long and dreary spaces over which we have traveled; who shall count the links in the great chain of events by which we have reached our present position, will make a note of this occasion; they will think of it and speak of it with a sense of manly pride and complacency.
I congratulate you, also, upon the very favorable circumstances in which we meet today. They are high, inspiring, and uncommon. They lend grace, glory, and significance to the object for which we have met. Nowhere else in this great country, with its uncounted towns and cities, unlimited wealth, and immeasurable territory extending from sea to sea, could conditions be found more favorable to the success of this occasion than here."
It goes on, it's a long read, for those that care to, but several salient points to be made...Mr. Douglass makes no bones about President Lincoln's goals in fighting the war. He goes on in detail that Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation tactically to put pressure on the South. He describes Lincoln's tactics and strategies in keeping the Union together as being more important than freeing the slaves, specifically. He is, of course correct, but that fact, although perhaps surprising to a few of us, was common knowledge at the time.
The movement of the statue is more in keeping with changing sight lines than any perceived 'embarrassment' on our part, except to those that seek it.
To clear up any confusion, It's a copy. The original is in Washington DC. That's where the Douglass speech was given.
I suggest some thought before any serious consideration to moving it, unless it's to protect it.
It's a statue of Lincoln. You really want to get rid of it? What next? The statue of 'old white guy' Baldwin? He was an abolitionist long before the war. He started a school for poor black kids. He funded it for years. Here's how his statue is treated by foolish people:
Yup. That looks like a noose. The little darling is throwing a noose around the neck of an abolitionist. Maybe she's KKK in disguise.
OK, now let's go just over the top...
New Your University.
Ya, really. Look, stop. Just stop.
And please...for the sake of everything holy, leave this one alone. It's the greatest statue ever. Granted, it's Nathan Bedford Forrest, but it's art.
That is embarrassing.
Not so easily "the end"
The statue was designed by Charlestown native Thomas Ball. The original was paid for entirely by donations from freed slaves. Although it was generally well received by the city and the Black citizens at the time, Frederick Douglass spoke at the dedication and was reported to have criticized the subservient position of the slave. Is removing it disrespectful to the original funders? Maybe it doesn't belong where it is, but it's a little more complicated than just "Tear it down."
It's time to say goodbye to this statue
It is important to remember that Lincoln thought African Americans were inferior, not "the equal" to white people. Additionally the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in Confederate States, not all slaves, and was more a wartime tactic than a proclamation of freedom for all slaves.
As Tory Bullock suggests, put the statue in a white museum. Tory also suggests replacing it with a statue of Crispus Attucks.
My suggestion is replace it with a statue of Frederick Douglas. While Boston has a William Lloyd Garrison statue, to my knowledge there is no statue of Douglas. He was the most prominent African American driving the anti-slavery movement, and had Massachusetts ties.
Even the racist-in-chief is aware that Frederick Douglas is "someone who's been doing an amazing job"
Correction to my own post
That's Douglass, not Douglas. I'm bit groggy from lost sleep from the fireworks at Town Field last night at 1:30 AM
you are giving short shrift to Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.
While I do not disagree with your statement on Lincoln, there was a change in his views on slavery and the African American people pre Presidency as well as the years he was President. As he once said, "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel." He firmly supported the 13th Amendment which ended slavery in the border states.
According to Henry Louis Gates Jr.: "To apply 20th century beliefs and standards to an America of 1858 and declare Abraham Lincoln a 'racist' is a faulty formula that unfairly distorts Lincoln's true role in advancing civil and human rights. By the standards of his time, Lincoln's views on race and equality were progressive and truly changed minds, policy and most importantly, hearts for years to come."
And, yes, the Emancipation Proclamation was not perfect he did have great value in that it confirmed that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom.
I think history shows Lincoln was a racist. He was for slavery when he ran for president before he was against it, in the Confederate states only.
Lincoln was against blacks voting, marrying whites, serving on a jury, or being elected to public office. He said blacks were inferior to whites. He was part of a movement to send blacks out of the country to Central America, to get rid of them.
You're correct that he evolved. But even when he finally evolved to support voting rights for blacks, it was only for those that fought for the Union.
I think Gates is wrong about judging Lincoln by current standards. Many abolitionists, many of them here in Massachusetts, supported full civil rights for blacks. The idea is not new to our current society.
Yet the crouched slave in chains kneeling before a white man is indeed how they viewed as being treated right up until Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. And Lincoln stands above the black man but yet in what was probably considered a benevolent posture.
I don't know how I feel about this one and I understand the sensitivity. I do not believe all statues should be removed but context should be presented near them. It would be an interesting topic of discussion and a learning opportunity.
Here's the problem.
When someone wants to 'start a conversation' then calls the statue 'cringeworthy' then the conversation is already over.
What they want is your enthusiastic approval to dump it in the ocean. That's not a conversation.
The Civil War got 600,000 Americans killed, counting those in rebellion. The Quartermaster of the Union Army, Mongomery Meigs (places in Boston named for him) spent $1.5 Billion dollars to supply Union troops.
He is credited with, more than any other single man, winning the war for the North.
He was from Georgia.
yeah, that's gotta go..
yeah, that's gotta go...cringeworthy...
Even if it is cringeworthy,
Even if it is cringeworthy, should we consider the words of freed slave Frederick Douglass speaking to whites on behalf of freed slaves - "...we entreat you to despise not the humble offering we this day unveil to view; for while Abraham Lincoln saved for you a country, he delivered us from a bondage, according to Jefferson, one hour of which was worse than ages of the oppression your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose."?
Well, the last month
has taught us some things.
Statues of terrible people, or statues that are tin-eared racist caricatures, don't belong in a civilized society. Unfortunately, the roadblocks to getting them taken down via legal channels are often substantial. There just isn't enough political will to get it done.
However, as the folks in places from Alabama to Virginia all the way up to our hometown of Boston have shown us, there also isn't enough political will to put them back up after they get torn down. Newton's first law, and all such.
Which is why it would be an awful tragedy--AWFUL, I say--if some ne'er-do-well with a hacksaw were to decapitate this godforsaken monstrosity in Park Square, and hurl the severed head into the sea. Why, I bet there would be people complaining about it for AGES before the rest of the statue was replaced by something that isn't an affront to all that is good and right.
Decapitate Abraham Lincoln?
The man who ended slavery in the US and was assassinated for his troubles? We have reached peak crazy.
Lincoln did not end slavery in the US
The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 proclaimed the end of slavery only in the Confederate States, and since they were not under Lincoln's control, did not really end slavery.
By the end of the war, slavery had been mostly ended due to Union victories, but it was the 13th amendment in 1865 that ended all slavery.
1865? Why does that sound familiar?
What might have happened to Lincoln that year to prevent him from finishing the work? Could it have been the same thing that kept Kennedy from carrying out his civil-rights agenda?
Lincoln was largely
Lincoln was largely indifferent to slavery for most of his life.
So decapitating statues we don’t like and throwing them in the sea is civilized? Looting, rioting and arson for the actions of a dirty cop in a city controlled by Democrats for 40 years is also civilized it seems... since we’re discussing the last month.
Maybe we can start our own CHAZ nation around here like they did in Seattle.
This “civilized society” thing you speak of is really cool. I shall see you out there, comrade.
Your slip is showing
This is not usually the sort of thing someone says when they're honestly concerned with trying to find solutions for problems as opposed to just scoring political points.
It’s not an opinion...
Maybe I’ll see you at the Northeast version of CHAZ?
Using the same one-word talking point more than once in consecutive posts generally communicates that you don't have any other points to raise, and by not elaborating on it you're saying you don't really know anything else about the subject.
You’re really good. Want to start a NE version of CHAZ with me, comrade?
Oh I see
You must be the brains of the operation.
It was such a success...
I figured others would follow suit. Want to join?
While we are at it
Can someone advocate for changing the public safety officer patch at Roxbury Community College. The patch depicts a white arm with a sword above the head of a peaceful Indian. I'm told the new chief of public safety has proposed expanding his force and arming them with automatic weapons.
There may be issues with that, but what you're describing is the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's hardly unique to RCC.
So much for a monument
I worked across the street for years and never took the time to actually look at that. Glad I didn't.
Edit: Watched the Tory video, which is great. Get that thing out of there, although I like his ideas for modifying it.
I know what you mean
In the 80s/90s there used to be a bus that went from Boston to Worcester that stopped at that monument and I used to wait for it there. I never took a clear look at it. People used to just say "the Worcester bus leaves from the Lincoln statue in Park Square." I'd like to see a Coconut Grove memorial also, since the privileged people who live in the tony condos somewhat recently built on the actual spot demanded that the old plaque be removed, small and unassuming though it was.
We need monuments to the
We need monuments to the convenient curbside bus stops that the city eliminated.
It's actually Cocoanut Grove
and yes, there oughtta be a better memorial.
I don't think it would be
I don't think it would be such a bad statue if it were just Lincoln.
Why is this just now seen as
Why is this just now seen as racist?
Who says just now?
People have been cringing at that thing for a long time.
Well I'm only so old but...
It's been a topic of discussion since the 1960's. Back then it was seen as a black man shining Lincoln's shoes. Pretty weird symbolism for something that was supposed to celebrate Emancipation.
Can we get rid of the statues
Can we get rid of the statues of Boston's openly racist mayors White and Curley already?
My opinion only
That kind of thing belongs in a museum of history.
This is worse than any of the
This is worse than any of the confederate statues down south. Boston and it's liberals are just as bad if not worse than those southern rednecks. Nice job.
Nope, down South is the worst
Nope, down South is the worst and the racism is damn scary.
I'm not much of a fan of this statue...
...but really? Those are monuments to traitors who led an unlawful attempt to break up this country. They broke their oaths of service and office and took up arms against their country. They shouldn't be venerated and should only be remembered for their acts of treason.
Confederate statues are anti-American and much worse.
Monuments to Confederate traitors are worse.
Confederates killed 600,000 American soldiers , with 14,000 of them from Massachusetts.
Do you actually read?
Read the references posted above. Not a fan of this statue, but the history behind it seems fairly benign.
You're not making the point you think you are
The difference between ideologues like you and the rest of us is that we're willing to admit mistakes and problems.
Nobody is denying that Boston has had long bouts of racism in between its occasional proud moments (we had a desegregation decision long before Brown v. Board of Education). But enough people are willing to admit it and try, no matter how imperfectly, to do something about it.
And, no, we don't have a long history of lynching people. Instead, we have to deal with smug assholes, some of them armed with weapons.
It's still there?
I thought that thing had been removed.
I think it was removed
Some years ago when they reconstructed the park, I think they did remove it, and then put it back.
It keeps getting moved around the square
You'd almost think whoever is in charge of it is trying to put it in the least conspicuous place possible. It's obviously still in public, but it's now off to the side, not in a place of pride in the center of the square.
Thomas Ball's Emancipation Statue
I shared this opinion in a blog post I wrote several years ago for Black History Month. It details all of Boston's statues of Black people and ends with this one. It's a stain on Boston and on the city's public art. It should be removed immediately.
You can read the whole post (and see all the statues) on The Next Phase Blog here: http://bit.ly/2sf2zpn
What ever happened to...
The statue at Moreland Street, Warren Street and Regent Street triangle in Roxbury? It was the only one Roxbury had as far as I know.
Surprised so many are
Surprised so many are suddenly 'woke' to this statue now... saw it when I first moved here about 20 yrs. ago and thought it was humiliating. People need to get out more and walk the streets of Boston.
Couple of things ...
Did you watch the video? He explains he's found the statue troublesome since he was a kid.
The statue has long been about as hidden as you can make it and still have it in public.
Something else is going on right now that might mean people are paying more attention to potentially offensive statues.