Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)


Before our main story tonight, I’d like to do something
a little different and just quickly tell you
about a beloved icon of my childhood,
and it’s this man… WOMAN:For 20 years he made
the dreams of young people
come true,with his hugely popular
Jim’ll Fix Itprogram.Best known for his
trademark jewelry,
track suits, tinted glasses,
and Havana cigar.
Now, I know it’s
hard to believe, but that bizarre looking man,
Jimmy Savile, was a national hero. We named places for him,
we gave him a knighthood, we even put up
this statue of him, even though it clearly looks
more like a cheese sculpture
of George Carlin -that someone left in the sun.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Now, he had a show called
Jim’ll Fix It,
where he basically
granted wishes. And like many British kids,
I actually wrote to him. I asked him to make me the mascot
for Liverpool football club, and he never wrote back. Which I’m actually glad about,
because after he died, Britain began to find out
who he really was. And the truth was horrific. He’s gone from a much loved
entertainer, and respected charity
fundraiser, to a man described by
Scotland Yard as a predatory sex offender.Jimmy Savile’s headstone
was here
for less than three weeks.His epitaph read,
“It was good while it lasted.”
Oh! That is an unsettling thing to have written
on his gravestone. Although to be fair,
nearly every famous epitaph would sound horrifying written
on a sex offender’s gravestone. From Dean Martin’s “Everybody
loves somebody sometime,” to Rodney Dangerfield’s
“There goes the neighborhood.” -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-You know, funny, funny. But if he’d been
a sex offender, not so much. The point is, Savile’s
headstone was taken down, as was that sign,
and that creepy statue, because once we found out
that he was a monster, we accepted it was
no longer appropriate to publicly glorify him. Which actually brings us
to our main story tonight… the Confederacy. America’s tracksuit
sex offender. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-Now, in recent years, there has been a robust debate
over Confederate symbols. From flags being taken down,
to statues being removed, to the white nationalist
rallies in Charlottesville. Both the one that
ended in violence in August, and another that happened
just last night. So as this debate is clearly
not going away, we wanted to take a look
at some of the arguments. Because you don’t
have to look hard to find people very upset at the idea of Confederate
statues being taken away. You can’t change history. You can’t pick and choose
what you decide is history. I think they oughta
just leave ’em alone and leave ’em
where they are, you know. They’re part of history. I just don’t think
we can erase our history. It may not represent
the best idea… that anybody ever came up with. But nevertheless,
it’s part of our history. And, uh,
I think it should stay there. You know what,
I’ll give him this, he is right that the Confederacy
and everything that came with it is, to put it mildly,
“not the best idea… -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-anybody ever came up with.” Because that of course
is making grilled cheese on a toaster turned sideways. That is a billion-dollar idea that is also
completely worthless. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-But they’re also right about one thing. We should
remember our history, so tonight, let’s do that. And let’s look at the unique
heritage of these symbols. Starting with the fact
that there are a lot more than you might expect. REPORTER:
The Southern Poverty Law Center
found some 1,500 Confederate
memorials across the country.
More than 700 of them
are statues and monuments,
and ten U.S. military basesare named for
Confederate officers.
Think about that. There are U.S. military bases
named for Confederate officers. And they were the enemy.
They killed U.S. soldiers. That’s like finding out that
Nancy Kerrigan -named her child Tonya Harding.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Why would you do that?
That’s a weird choice. And tributes to the Confederacy
are everywhere in the South, and notably some
in the North too. And that map doesn’t include
kitschy ways that the Civil War is presented,
like at this family restaurant: ANNOUNCER:
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede
brings a rip roaring
taste of America to life.
Dixie’s Stampede
is a musical extravaganza
of sight and sound.Centered around a friendly
North-South rivalry,
friendly servers bring
the delicious four course feast
right to you.Including a whole
rotisserie chicken,
and all the Pepsi, iced tea,
or coffee you like.
Yes. That is
a Confederate soldier serving a small child
all the Pepsi she likes. Which is still remarkably only Pepsi’s second worst
ad campaign. (AUDIENCE LAUGHING
AND CHEERING) And the thing is if you grew up
with experiences like that, it can seem like the Civil War
is just a friendly rivalry. A fun, colorful part
of U.S. history. But that omits the key fact
about the Civil War. The Confederacy was fighting for
the preservation of slavery. And that’s not my opinion,
that is just a fact. There are many ways
that we know this. Slavery is mentioned in
multiple state’s declarations of secession with Mississippi saying, “Our position
is thoroughly identified with the institution
of slavery.” The Confederate Constitution
contains a clause enshrining slavery forever. And then there’s the speech
Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice president
gave in 1861, in which he articulated
the basic principles for the Confederate nation. ALEXANDER STEPHENS:
Its foundations are laid.
Its cornerstone rests upon
the great truth
that the Negro is not
equal to the white man.
That slavery, subordination
to the superior race,
is his natural and
normal condition.
Wow. Subordination to
the superior race. That is explicit. If the Confederacy was not
about slavery, somebody should really
go back in time and tell the fucking
Confederacy that. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-And yet, remarkably, many people think the Civil War
was over something else. REPORTER 2:When people
were asked, “What do they think
the main cause
of the Civil War is?”
48% said,
“Mainly about states’ rights.”
Only 38% said,
“Mainly about slavery.”
Nine percent said “both.”And that is amazing. Only 38% thought the Civil War
was mainly about slavery. In other words,
look to your left, now look to your right, statistically all three of you
live in a country where only 38% percent of people -think the Civil War
was mainly about slavery.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And on that “states’ rights”
argument, for the record, the Southern states were
ardently pro-states’ rights. But with some
glaring exceptions. Notably, when Northern states passed laws to help protect
runaway slaves, the South wanted
the federal government to override those states laws. So, they loved states’ rights, as long as they were
the right states’ rights. The wrong states’ rights
would be states’ wrongs, wrongs which would
need to be righted by the right states’ rights–
look, to put it really simply, they just wanted to
own black people, -and they didn’t much care how.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) That’s a fact! But that’s a very hard fact
for some people to accept. Especially if a member
of your family fought for the Confederacy. And sometimes,
the understandable desire to want to distance
your relative from that cause can lead to people
distorting the cause itself. Just watch as one man at a community meeting
in North Carolina defended a Confederate statue by talking about
his family history. My great grandfather
was a Confederate soldier. And I was proud of that. Because my opinion of his fight was for his rights. I don’t know what
his rights were. I wasn’t there. He was dead long before
I came along. But I’m really concerned
about our monument. I want it to stay. It reminds me that I got
a little rebel in me. You know, we all want to
kind of be independent. We all have a little
rebel in us, even the ladies. -Ooh! Even the ladies!
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) Hashtag feminism,
hashtag confedera-she. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)
-And look, look. I don’t know, I don’t know why his great grandfather
fought. It is hard to know
the motivations of any individual soldier. What we do know is that
again, collectively, they were fighting to preserve
the institution of slavery. And I do get, honestly,
I honestly get wanting a more comfortable
history for your family. But in doing so,
you can’t invent a more comfortable history
for your country. Because you would be erasing
the actual painful experiences of many Americans. As a fellow North Carolinian
explains. When I walk by this statue,
I– it becomes very painful when I think of the suffering
that my ancestors went through. They enslaved people. Abused people for their own
economic impact.And it should not be
celebrated by these statues.
Right. And that is
the harsh reality of what was done by
those Confederate men. And yes, even the ladies, -hashtag confedera-she.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) If you want to see
a perfect crystallization of what happens when
two people have wildly different views
of the same symbol, just watch this
local news clip. Why do you carry that flag? Because this is my heritage. My family fought
to save their farm under this flag. Who was working that farm? Ooh! (AUDIENCE LAUGHING IN DISBELIEF) That is a good, tough question. And the news clip
actually cut out there, but we were so intrigued to
find out what his response was we tracked it down. And whatever you are expecting,
you’re going to be surprised. -MAN: Who was working that farm?
-My family was! -Who was working the farm?
-They were poor, Do you know how much
a slave cost back then?! -(AUDIENCE SHOUTING)
-Oh! Whoa, whoa, whoa! You know you are in the wrong when you decide
your best argument is screaming at a black man, “Do you know how expensive
you used to be?!” It is– It is comments like that one that landed this guy
on the cover ofHoly Shit That Is Not
Remotely The Point
magazine. (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And look, that– that is clearly
an intense example. But denial of this painful
part of history can take many forms. Look at PBS’s
Finding Your Roots,
where Henry Louis Gates
explores celebrities’ family histories, and he often finds some shit. Famously, Ben Affleck
pulled strings to get the show
to remove all references to his slave-owning ancestors. And though he later apologized, that impulse right there
is not good. Because it sanitizes history. And while there is no
easy way to respond to learning that kind of
horrible information, it is worth watching
Anderson Cooper find out how one relative of his died. Boykin was murdered by
a rebellious slave. Wow. Your ancestor was
beaten to death with a farm hoe. (LAUGHS)
Oh my God. That’s amazing.
This is incredible. (LAUGHS) I am blown away. -You think he deserved it?
-ANDERSON COOPER: Yeah. -Wow. You know what?
-(AUDIENCE CLAPPING) You know what,
as a general rule, just try not to live a life …that could lead a descendant
of yours to one day say, “A guy smashed
grand-poppy’s head in with a garden hoe? That’s amazing.
Great job ‘That Guy!'” (LAUGHING) But, my absolute
favorite response to a nasty surprise, undoubtedly
comes from Larry David, who received
a real one-two punch. Are you telling me that
my great-grandfather fought for the South? In the Civil War? (LAUGHS) What? Are you kidding? Oh, my goodness… I hope no slaves show up
on this– Please turn the page. (MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER HOLLERS) Now, Larry, this is
another part of the 18th– Oh– oh, you did it!
You did it! -I knew it! I knew it!
-(GATES LAUGHING) -Unbelievable!
-Unbelievable. Boy. HENRY LOUIS GATES JR:
That’s b– unbelievable. Oh boy, oh boy. -Yeah. Prettay, prettay,
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) pretty bad! Pretty bad! And look! Larry David
is not responsible for what his ancestors did. None of us are. I have to believe that,
because I’m English. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-And I would like to go to an Indian restaurant again
at some point in my life. (LAUGHING CONTINUES) But– but we do have to reckon
personally, and as a country with what our heritage means. You can’t ignore it like Batman, you can’t say
it’s something else like town meeting Santa, you’ve got to actively,
painfully, come to grips with slavery, and the lasting benefits
and disadvantages that if conferred. In ways that, frankly,
we haven’t yet. And that actually brings us back
to Confederate monuments, because there is
something about them that that symbolizes our reluctance
to have that conversation and that is the dates
that they went up. Because while some
initial memorials were built mainly in cemeteries,
shortly after the Civil War, the real surge came
much, much later. MALE REPORTER 1:
The Southern Poverty Law Center
says a majorityof the more than 700
Confederate monuments
in public spaces
across the country,
were erected decades
after General Lee’s surrender.
It’s true, as this chart of the years that
they were dedicated shows, there was a big spike
from 1900 to 1920 as white southerners were
re-asserting their dominance through things like
Jim Crow laws, uh, with another spike in the
50s and 60s as the Civil Rights Movement
was gaining steam, so those statues weren’t so much commemorating
recently fallen dead, as sending
a pretty hostile message to African-Americans. And sending messages is kind of
what statues are often for. This one says,
“We love freedom.” This one says, “The most notable thing
about our city -is a fictional character.”
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) (STAMMERS) And this one says,
“About yay big.” -(LAUGHING CONTINUES)
-We still don’t know… what he was trying to measure,
but whatever it was, -it was… “About yay big.”
-(LAUGHING CONTINUES) But… look, for some
Confederate statues though, for some Confederate statues
the intent is crystal clear. In that town meeting
from before, the statue that
they were debating was this one, which went up
in 1914 and a leader of
that county’s chapter of the KKK gave a speech at its dedication, calling the occasion
an opportunity “To recall the achievements
of the great and good of our own race and blood.” Which, again, is pretty
on-the-nose right there. And the largest
Confederate memorial, the carving on Stone Mountain
in Georgia, is located where the
20th century KKK was born. It depicts
three Confederate leaders on horseback, and
it was completed in 1972, so that means
there is color footage of the dedication. After nearly half a century
of work, the memorial carving here at Stone Mountain
is finally finished. And officials are calling it
the eighth wonder of the world. We must recall those principals
of loyalty, dignity and honor that shine through
the lives of men we commemorate today. Yes. That was
Vice President Spiro Agnew commemorating the loyalty
of literal traitors. But, what can you really expect
from a man whose name, rearranged, spells
“Grow a Penis.” -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-And… and some– here’s the thing. Some monuments went up
even more recently. I– I wanna show you one that was erected
on private lands, but very much for
public consumption. Because once you see it,
you will not forget it. MALE REPORTER 2:
The statue was erected in 1998.
It portrays
Nathan Bedford Forrest
on his horse.Gun in one hand,
and sword in the other.
Surrounded by
Confederate state battle flags,
visible for all to see
on the side of I-65.
(CARS DRIVING BY) MALE REPORTER 2:Forrest was
a Confederate general
-and an early leader of the KKK.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) That is just
objectively terrifying regardless of context. He looks like if a nickel
did cocaine. -(LAUGHING CONTINUES)
-So– so some of these statues commemorate people who thought
a war to preserve slavery, were erected to preserve
white supremacy and were dedicated by
Klan members and yet, there is a blanket defense that tends to get
authored by people and not just people,
also, this guy. They’re trying to take away…
our culture. They’re trying to take away
our history. Okay, that argument is
taking these statues down obliterates history, which is
clearly just ridiculous. First, monuments are not
how we record history, books are. Museums are. Ken Burns
12-part mini-series are. Statues are how we
glorify people. Or, in the case of one in Tokyo,
how we glorify giant radioactive lizards. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-And yet, the President’s concern
seems to be that tearing down statues
leads to a slippery slope. This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s
coming down, I wonder, is it
George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson
the week after? You know, you all– you really do
have to ask yourself, “Where does it stop?” Okay, well,
I’ll tell you where it stops. Somewhere. Anytime someone asks,
“Where does it stop?” The answer is always,
“Fucking somewhere!” You might let your kid
have Twizzlers, but not inject black-tar heroin. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-You d– you don’t just go, “Well, after the Twizzlers,
where does it stop?” -(LAUGHING CONTINUES)
-And the same is true of Confederate monuments. Think of it this way,
all people, living and dead, exist on what I’m gonna call
The Hitler-Hanks spectrum, from bad to good. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, CHEERING)
-And at some point on the spectrum, monuments to honor people
are going to be inappropriate. Although it– to be fair, it does get tricky
around the middle, where, of course, you’ll fine
Adolf Hankler. -(LAUGHING CONTINUES)
-And– and look, there are clearly people
deserving of statues who were imperfect humans. And sometimes our standards
change over time, which can then get tricky, because you’re judging
historical figures by modern standards. But for many
Confederate monuments, especially those erected
well after the Civil War, valorizing the cause or leadership
of the Confederacy, this really isn’t a close call. This is your babysitter
showing up in a Jimmy Savile t-shirt. I don’t care what you think
that represents, you’re not staying home
with my fucking kid tonight. (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) And for Robert E. Lee
in particular, it’s actually even easier
because of this. MALE REPORTER 1:Interestingly,
Robert E. Lee was once asked
about placing memorials
at Gettysburg in 1869.
The former general replied,“I think it wiser… not to
keep open the sores of war,
but to follow the examples
of those nations
who endeavored to obliterate
the marks of civil strife,
to commit to oblivion
the feelings engendered.”
It’s true. Robert E. Lee
was opposed to statues of people like Robert E. Lee. So, any city that decides
to keep a statue of him should at the very least
add a speech bubble saying, “You know, I told you all
specifically, not to do this.” (AUDIENCE LAUGHING) So– so what do we do now? Well– well, I would argue
that nothing is not acceptable, and– and trying
to paper over the cracks can actually make things worse. In the 1990s, Richmond tried
to fix its Monument Avenue, a street lined with statues
of Confederate leaders by adding
African-American tennis legend, Arthur Ashe to it. And you can’t just
give Confederates a black friend and say, “We’re good, right?” -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-We’re good! Arthur’s up there! You love Arthur! So– so, if we really want
to learn from, and honor our history,
perhaps the first step might be to put
most of these statues somewhere more appropriate, surrounded by
ample historical context, like in a museum. Where people go to
proactively learn about history, and also
to punish their children. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-And please, try not to think of this
as a loss, because it’s actually
a real opportunity, and I’ll show you, please. Come with me. -♪ (PATRIOTIC MUSIC PLAYING) ♪
-Because if and when a pleat becomes empty, that is a chance for your area
to honor someone who really deserves it. A– And I have some–
some ideas for replacements that I would love
to run by you. First, Beaufort County,
South Carolina, how about
a giant statue of… Robert Smalls here? He was born into slavery. He stole a Confederate boat,
and he sailed it to freedom, and later served five terms
in Congress. This guy is amazing. Atlanta, Texas. You are the birthplace to… Bessie Coleman. The first
African-American woman pilot. -(AUDIENCE CHEERING)
-Why would you not want this
in your town? She’s incredible! Now, Florida. You might not want
an individual, but how ’bout something
that honors what your state represents? Something that says, “You’ve got
a little rebel in you.” So, I give you this statue of your
official state reptile… -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
-an alligator giving everyone the finger. He’s called Herman, and he definitely says Florida, while also having
nothing to do with slavery. And finally,
finally, there is Charleston, and to you, I say this. Why have a divisive,
Confederate statue when instead, that pedestal can be filled
by your favorite son, -(AUDIENCE CHEERING)
-the actual Stephen Colbert, who will stand up there
all day telling you fun facts
about your wonderful town. -JOHN OLIVER: Right?
-Yes. -OLIVER: Really?
-Yes. Charleston. Charleston. Charleston is the site
of the first free public library -in America.
-That’s fascinating, Stephen. Every year,
we host Zugunruhefest, the Southeast’s
most comprehensive migration-focused
birding festival. That sounds incredible,
I’ll google it! See Charleston? You can have this
24 hours a day, seven days a week. I– I actually need
to do my show five days a week. Five! How? (AUDIENCE CHUCKLING) (WHISPERS) I don’t know.
I don’t know. Ooh! We’re also
Travel and Leisure’s
number one U.S. destination
for the last five years running. -(AUDIENCE CHEERING)
-Come on Charleston, you can
have this in your life! That’s our show,
thank you so much for watching. See you next week. Goodnight!

100 thoughts on “Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  1. Americas future is settled. It will deep dive into the abyss of history. The sewage that is trump's cult followers have started this country on the decline of historic proportions.

  2. When people say "the Civil War was about states' rights", they're saying "slavery wasn't a big deal". The problem here isn't that every confederate was personally fighting for slavery, it's that every confederate AT BEST considered slavery an acceptable condition to get what they wanted.

  3. okay so remind me why we havw the need to fly a flag of a losing side that also happens to be an emblem of hate and why people in america do not even know what the war was about.

  4. I grew up in Arizona. I remember one of my teachers talking about the whole "states' rights" thing, but they noted that it was one particular "right" that they had in mind: slavery. Yeah, "states' rights" by itself never really impressed me. It's not really "rights" plural when you're really only talking about one. There are people here with some surprisingly strong feelings about the Civil War (mostly, people who are much older than I am and were born in other states, because that's how things tend to go here). Parts of Arizona were Confederate and Union at various points during the Civil War, partly because Arizona was a territory and not a state at the time ("territories" do not have "states' rights", ha ha), so it's pretty much a mixed bag today. There are differences between being "Southern" and being "Southwestern." Generally, I'd categorize Arizona as mostly "pragmatic," both historically and currently. Whatever else is going on, the people here mostly do what they need to do to get along and accomplish what they need to accomplish, at least in a very basic way. Life goes on, and things that get in the way of that tend to get shoved to the side or removed, which is why there aren't that many historical buildings left in the city of Phoenix, our capital. I don't mind the monuments on graves or in graveyards where Confederates were buried (there are some) or at battle/skirmish sites (places where I don't tend to go anyway), but I'm not big on seeing them anywhere else. I don't think that they're accomplishing much in the task of teaching anybody something about history, and one thing that they're certainly not doing is inspiring anybody to behave and get along better. I predict that the monuments we have in Arizona will stay where they are for now, largely through inertia, right up until the space is needed for something else that people care about more. I don't know what that's going to be, but there will probably be something, eventually. I like studying history, but while it's an interesting place to visit, most of us don't want to live there.

  5. Honestly as a german, the whole "let the statues be, it's part of our history" is so fookin stupid! This mindset would justify having Hitler statues on every corner in Germany – so not a good idea. Yes, the 3rd Reich is part of our history but that does by no means mean that we should glorify this time in our nations history. And that is the exact same for the confederacy in America!

  6. It's fine if you're a racist like John Baldock. Just be honest about it. Don't post obvious lies that Lincoln owned slaves.

  7. We can ONLY judge things by modern standards. We may be able to explain, understand, tolerate, accept historical event, becaise the people in the past simply didn't know better, but that doesn't make what they did right. We should not celebrate them for that aspect.

    Standards change, we don't need to celebrate things we no longer agree with, they belong in museums.

  8. THEY WERENT THE ENEMY YOU PIECE OF SHIT, they were brothers and sisters and fellow americans that we killed in a brutal war. YES WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THEM AND HONOR THEM.

  9. Know how to deal with it? stop worrying about it. If you keep looking back while trying to move forward, you're gunna trip.

  10. Why would anyone want to tear down a statue. Firstly, nobody who is complaining was alive during the slavery era in America. Secondly, tearing down something is changing the environment around people who grew up with it there, its not going to go down without a fight, so why poke the hornets nest, when it is doing no harm. Jews definitely still dont like hitler, but they have come to terms with the germans as a nation. So slavery earlier than Africa has no relevance when it comes to changes in modern society? Or is it a case of nobody gives a shit and just get annoyed when you keep bringing things up that have absolutely nothing to do with your lives. Not every white family started off with a castle, most worked their asses off to get generational wealth and educate their children so that their children might have a better life. Slavery was bad, no getting around it, but it built the world as we know it, in every civilization and every race, not just africans (ask the Irish for instance).

  11. What about statues that can serve as a reminder of what not to be? Even if that wasn't it's original intent. And what happened to not wanting to rewrite History?

    By removing them, we omit the Confederates, and two or three generations from now, we completely forget the civil war even happened except for Dusty old "books" nobody knows how to read in 60 years. Even though they lost, were oppressive, and generally were in the wrong, doesn't mean we should forget them, does it?

    I mean, the fact the statues are getting attention at all is a bit ridiculous to me, as what would they do with them if they remove them? Throw them into a landfill? Crush them up to fill some rich person's expansive stone garden that they begrudgingly pay landscapers that they verbally abuse and treat poorly and make demands of as though slaves? Oops… To soon?

    I'm a fan of volunteer indentured servitude myself, as if you had a debt or wanted to work your way up in life, or just wanted to save up some money for something, you could submit yourself as an indentured servant to a person or master of your choice. It historically was and is abused, and in time degenerated into what the Confederates were, but the original concept was good and honest.
    These days it's called being an employee with a boss/employer, but that's just a different name for the same things.

    I'll admit, I don't really care either direction on this and think this a pretty petty debacle. To me, it's history. It happened. The statues, regardless of original reasons for being erected, stand now representing a part of American History. Albeit a bad or tough one.

    If we commemorate only the victors, and to the victors go all the spoils, and the victors decide how history is written, how can we or those after us learn from our past and our forefathers' and foremothers' mistakes? If the rest be damned, isn't that also rewriting history, though in the opposite direction?

    I mean, rewriting history to favor the victors or to favor the losers, and commemorating only one side and ignoring the other, that just wrong and will only hurt future generations. And America's already gone to the 9 Hells plus Hell AND Hel! (Yes, I convinced 3 religious versions of "the bad place". Sue me!)

    But all aside, I stand with all or none. If we take down the Confederates monuments and reminders, we should take down all the other monuments and reminders of our history older than 20 years or so too. All the WW2 memorials, the Korean war memorials, the WW1 memorials, both sides of the civil war not just one etc.
    Because if we're going to omit one side of war, or play war off as a "disagreement", might as well go all the way and teach our children that war doesn't exist, lives don't matter, that actions have little to no consequences, the whole kit and Kaboodle.

    I mean we've already started, haven't we?

  12. So, reading these comments I see…
    Finger pointing, blame passing, attention diversions, name calling, group generalizing, unequivocal comparisons, "this isn't as bad as that", unreasonable hypotheticals, among other things.

    Where's the people trying to actually make amends, right wrongs, and apologize for their ancestors while also trying to make new and stronger bonds? Where are THOSE people who are actually trying to do something about it?

    I was raised a military brat. My father served 18 years in the USAF before taking an early retirement severance due to injuries and traumas overseas. I don't belong to any political group and don't want to. I was raised 9 years in Texas, 9 years in New Hampshire and New Jersey split up into 4 or 5 year segments. I've been taught both the good and the bad about almost all wars or fights, and how they are sometimes necessary but almost always avoidable and should only be a last resort. I've been taught to honor and respect the heroes and fallen for both sides of war, and to care for them and their families, especially if I'm the victor. I was raised to not see gender or skin color. My first crush and first girlfriend was a blonde, white girl from church. After her, it took me a few years to realize girls were different from boys and took my best friend giving me a hickey after school one day and my classmates showing me porn after I hacked my school's computers for them. (Not thankful.)
    My second crush was a black teen born in America (not brown, black. She was adamant in that iirc) who quite literally saved my life when a car nearly ran me over after I had an accident on my bike. My third crush and arguably second girlfriend was a Puerto Rican who was also my best friend. It just took me too long to realize she wanted more and that everyone around saw us as a couple. My fourth crush was from India/the middle East and was roughly around 2010 (I never got the nerve to ask her out as we were friends, although I loved her hijab and chatted with her regularly, if briefly. She didn't speak English very well yet, so she mainly listened to my yammering.). My fifth crush was born in South Korea but raised in America. (She only wanted to be friends because apparently she was a lesbian to my unexpected surprise). My sixth crush who ended up being my now ex-fiance was born and raised in Rwanda and came to America on a "higher education" 4-year School Visa. (She sadly only wanted a green card and never really loved me. Even though I truly loved her. Hell, she was a literal runway model too who didn't want to work in porn! And I at the time was a professional school photographer doing the school portraits. That's a rare combo! To bad it didn't pan out…)

    So I can speak from personal experience. What does skin or nationality or culture or history or whatever else matter?

    It's the person beneath it, behind the clothes and skin and cultures that matters. Some are kind, some are innocent, some don't care, some care deeply, some love, some hate. All are human as far as I could tell though.

    So where are the people genuinely advocating peace and prosperity and equality that aren't seeking pain or blood or personal profit or gain? The people whose words meet actions and generally do their best to be good people?

    Why do I only see…
    Finger pointing, blame passing, attention diversions, name calling, group generalizing, unequivocal comparisons, "this isn't as bad as that", unreasonable hypotheticals, among other things?

    Where's the good people?

  13. In Germany, every teenager in school has to visit a concentration camp as part of their formal education. Let that sink in America.

  14. Post World War II Germany is a very good example of the kind of reconciliation with a horrible past John is talking about here. It is illegal in Germany to deny the holocaust. All brutal details of the tragedy are taught in schools, with young kids being taken to Holocaust museums whenever possible as school trips or as part of their curriculum. They teach, over and over again, why those actions are despicable, and by never denying it or trying to brush it away from the national conscience, they keep it alive and try to prevent it from happening again. An admirable ideal.

  15. "I don't know what his rights were". 
    You should find out what those rights were because that fill in the blank line could have some fucked up your going to jail for a long time cause thats a felony implications.

  16. This shows how ignorant America as being for hundreds of years. What's sad ,these fools teach this shit in school. Alternative facts. You see what's going on with around us now. Now you see. Superior race was a lie. Cuz these people are pure idiots

  17. Wow that's amazing your ancestors was killed by a garden hose wow ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, i mean seriously uhum Larry David: you did it you did it ha ha ha ha ha overly hppy to finding his past ha ha ha ha

  18. What was it with Larry David and his great-grandfather with slaves when told to change the page? Did I miss something? I'm curious to know what he had learned there.

  19. Wow, really touchy subject, just think that Yasukuni Shrine would have made a much better comparison/example

  20. It's illegal to deny the Holocaust in Germany. Maybe it should be illegal to deny that the Civil War was about slavery in America

  21. Traitors, losers and treasonous slave owning fuckers having some nostalgia time eh? You are the bad guys and you lost the war, get over it, dickheads.

  22. In England, Guy Fawkes was a Catholic rebel who wanted a Catholic King on the English throne. He planned to blow up the houses of parliament. This is part of English history, he was a brave, dedicated man fighting for his honorable cause. It was also an attack on democracy. Did anyone build a statue to commemorate him? No, every year his effigy is burned on a bonfire.

  23. I mean if you really want to drive home the argument that the civil war was about slavery, just focus on the OUTCOME of the war, when President Abraham Lincoln ABOLISHED SLAVERY. So, then it was probably about slavery.

  24. I don't agree with the argument the he "didn't know what his rights were". That's pretty lame. But look, if you grew up in Nazi Germany, and you were expected to be a Nazi soldier, it probably wasn't exactly a choice much less an easy one to not be a Nazi soldier. If you grew up in the South, you were expected to fight with the Confederacy or you'd be considered a traitor. We don't get to choose the family or country we are born into or the circumstances we're given. I don't think the statues are a big deal just as long as they're representative of the location. I would say they'd be out of place if they erected monuments of Confederate soldiers in say New York City.

  25. When you hear about Robert Smalls and wonder how a movie hasn't been made about him. That's one of the most badass things I've ever heard.

  26. “My family fought to save their farm under this flag!”

    No, they didn’t. That flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy. A modified version was featured in the corner of two versions of the Confederate flag in the latter half of the war, but the modern version displayed by him was none of those.

    Ironically, the people who love to say that all this stuff “represents history” are actually quite ignorant of our history.

  27. Why don't they just take down the statues and put them in some museum to show what the person looked like and to help tell their story into enough detail to help people make their own opinions or something? Probably a bad idea but it would stop them from that 'taking out history' thing whilst also moving it so it isn't offending anyone

  28. The thing that comes from that toaster trip is a messy carpet (when the toasts fly sideways after they are done).

  29. Literally we were always taught the North didn't fight back for slaves, they had other reasons. I'm from the north. Literally our history book says Abraham Lincoln didn't care about slaves so much as reuniting the North and South and abolishing slavery was a perk…that was even a question on one of my tests

  30. South Africa has this problem too —a majority of the monuments are clearly based on white supremacy
    This is still a deep problem there

  31. How many statues of Benedict Arnold are there?
    If your answer is none then you are correct!

    If you'd like to know why the answer is simple, he was a traitor!

    Guess what all the southern states that participated in the Confederacy were?

    You guessed it TRAITORS!

  32. Many of our founding fathers had slaves and had less than woke views about homosexuality, people of color, women's rights, and many other shortcomings. Sure it's easy to punch down at confederates but make no mistake the leftist will come for the founding fathers next and start rationalizing why the bill of rights and constitution is also flawed/outdated. Inevitably ushering in an era of big government bulldozing every individual under its weight as they take guns and tax people into the ground while also actively colluding to reduce the population sizes since automation has made their cattle more of a liability than an asset.

  33. To be frank the ability to have slaves was the main state right they were fighting for. So in a way they are both true. Kinda

  34. Oh we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
    and we'll rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

    The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitor, up with the star;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    Oh we're springing to the call for three hundred thousand more,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
    And we'll fill the vacant ranks with a million freemen more,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

    The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitor, up with the star;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
    And although he may be poor, he shall never be a slave,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

    The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitor, up with the star;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
    Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
    And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love the best,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom.

    The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitor, up with the star;
    While we rally round the flag, boys we rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    "Battle Cry of Freedom", by George Frederick Root

  35. Ok the civil war was really fought not over slavery it was fought over that lincoln wanted slaves to be paid for there work. And noone wanted to pay people for work. By the hr. Lincoln didnt want to free slaves. He wanted the really bad things to stop. Also he wanted them to be paid so they could have the same options as we do. Lincoln wanted free work pay for everyone not to free people. Look it up he owned slaves and made them free and gave them equal pay. He was a great man he didnt believe in slavery but it wasnt about slavery it was about equal pay and right. Which we dont have to this day for men or women no matter what degrees we have.

  36. Trump : "they want to take our heritage, our history!"
    ….what are you talking about german-scot immigrant's decendand draft-dodging yankees!?

  37. Yes Madam yo are correct, you cant pick and choose an create history. That flag, was never the flag of the south! It was the battle flag of the Virginia Confederate Army. That flag was Never representative of the south, it was an illegal domestic terrorist flag and should Not be honored by any American. Stop creating excuses for your raceism, and stop creating false history. Btw, Robert E. Lee specifically stated he wanted no statues nor plaques in his honor.

  38. I think people are being way to fucking sensitive. I watched a video where a woman FREAKED out because there was a Confederate flag on the front license plate of a replica of the car from Smokey and the Bandit at a car show. And of course she was filming the whole damn thing while making a fool of herself. Seriously, grow the fuck up people. The world is an offensive place. The Confederacy was about slavery. But people can admire Lee, Stuart, Johnson etc for different reasons. For their military strategy, their brilliance and courage in battle etc. The same goes for the Confederate flag. Some people may not be proud of it because of the aspect of slavery but because of the rebelliousness of it. And people do have the freedom of expression. I mean this shit could get ridiculous. Washington owned slaves. What are we gonna do with him?

  39. Most confederate monuments were built in areas where Blacks would gather. That's like building a monument of Adolf Hitler in a Jewish Neighborhood. No one will say the monument of Adolf Hitler was put in a Jewish Neighborhood just by coincidence. It was put in a Jewish Neighborhood to intimidate the Jews. That's why the Confederate monuments were built around Black areas, they were put there to remind the Blacks that "THEY SHOULD KNOW YOUR PLACE!"

  40. Around 5:55, I am a high school student learning U.S. History and I believe slavery was the cause of the civil war. However even historians dispute the cause of the civil war. It could be rather than a failure of education to teach students, but a success of education as teachers provide multiple sources and more interpretations of history for students to judge for themselves. At least, every week my teacher gives us two historian papers to analyze and interpret. I would hope other schools are providing their students multiple interpretations, since my state is the 49th worst in education.

  41. Dig into the history, the civil war wasn't about slavery. Slavery was already on it's way out the door during that time. Many other countries had begun to outlaw it and the U.S. was going to follow. It was really fought over debts that the south refused to pay. They felt the banking institutions at the time had unfair practices when it came to charging interest rates. I may have a few things wrong but the civil war was not a fight about slavery. Last thought, I am completely against slavery and it was a nasty part of our history and I would never want to see it re-lived. To tear down monuments on the idea that the south was fighting for slavery is simply historically wrong. Do the research if you want.

  42. Why not have statutes of black people AND Indian, Asian AND White people – who had nothing to do with slavery? Lots of history out there that isn't all about slavery and slave owners!

  43. I mean who would want to know that your ancestors owned slaves you want to know the non racist and cool part of your ancestry like if you're related to Native American chiefs or some sort of royalty. Edit: Or a knight (you have to adimit being related to a knight is cool) or if your family did something honorable

  44. The "you were expensive back then" argument is completely valid. Only 1.7% of Americans owned slaves at the time. The rest were just poor, rural farmers who were told by the rich that the North was trying to oppress them and that the Civil War was a Second Revolution.

  45. 7:37 – That's true. In fact, I'm pretty sure there was a big group of people that really wanted to be independent around the time of the American Civil War… You know, the people that were enslaved by the people being honored by those statues?

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