Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Mob deep

(NOTE: No, I'm not writing about the F%@king hurricane. My nerves are completely shot, so I wrote this instead. I wrote it yesterday and scheduled it to go up today so I can be "off the grid" until the storm passes or people stop making me insane with the way they're talking about it. Seriously, Facebook has worn my ass out.)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when everybody was very passionate about statues and their role in preserving history? Because without statues, there's just no way to remember history. That's why these monuments, erected 50 years after the war was over, just happened to be coincidentally placed strategically outside of courthouses and other government buildings and not some dumb old park. Not as a warning to black people who had the audacity to expect justice and fair treatment from these institutions, but because when it comes to sight-seeing, the courthouse is where everyone goes. These monuments were dedicated with elaborate ceremonies and moving speeches, like this one:
"The South stands ready to welcome all good citizens who seek to make their homes within her borders. But the South detests and despises all, it matters not from whence they came, who, in any manner, encourages social equality with an ignorant and inferior race." - Florida state attorney Herbert S. Phillips, 1911
I remember when I was in elementary school and we would take field trips down to the courthouse to look at the Civil War statue. We would get off the bus, look at the statue for a few minutes, acknowledge that the Civil War was an actual real thing that took place, get back on the bus and eventually attend Ivy League schools as history majors.
"That happened."

Looking at statues is not only the best way to remember history, it's really the only way.
Pictured: Worthless things
Without these statues, we might forget to not oppress minorities and treat others with kindness and respect. And since we're doing such a bang-up job with that now, we simply can't afford to lose the statues.
A lot of people attended rallies to protect the statues, because they're such fervent history buffs, dedicated to remembering not to forget that oppressing people is bad. A lot also attended because they enjoy group activities, such as gathering in mobs with torches and chanting slogans. While still others, simply love the art of statuary. And not all of them are probably racists.

Thanks, to John Jacobs and the rest of the Tampa News Force team.

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