How Your School Can Address the Confederate Monument Controversy

For this former resident of Charlottesville, Virginia the events of this past weekend hit close to home. My wife and I are still coming to terms with the violence and scenes of bloodshed on streets that we used to walk. The educator in me has been thinking about ways that I can put my skills to use for those of you who are now either beginning the new school year or are just now heading back into the classroom. [click to continue…]

A Turning Point in the Confederate Monument Debate

Make no mistake about it, yesterday’s neo-Nazi rally in defense of the Robert E. Lee monument was a turning point in the broader debate about the place of these structures in our communities. Yes, monuments have already been taken down and flags lowered, but the sight of swastikas, battle flags, and men carrying automatic weapons will shift the relevant questions and clarify what is at stake moving forward. [click to continue…]

Neo-Nazis Clarify Confederate Monument Debate for Richmond

This morning I am bracing for the steady stream of photographs and videos that will soon litter my social media feeds from my former home of Charlottesville, Virginia. As most of you know a neo-Nazi rally is planned for Emancipation (formerly Lee) Park to protest the planned removal of the Robert E. Lee Monument. Last night an unscheduled rally took place on the campus of the University of Virginia around a statue of the man who believed that the black and white races could never live peacefully together. [click to continue…]

Let Richmond’s Kids Figure Out What to Do With the Monuments

Last night the Richmond Monument Avenue Commission held its first public forum at the Virginia Historical Society. It went about as well as I predicted. You can read about it here, here, and here. The commission went into this meeting hoping to steer the discussion away from removal to what it describes as a “middle-of-the-road” solution. The audience appeared to largely ignore the direction and I can’t say that I blame them. At its heart this discussion is about deeply-held beliefs about history, heritage, and community identity. [click to continue…]

To Hell With Your Confederate Heritage

Catherine Templeton, who is running to be South Carolina’s next governor, had this to say in response to critics who took issue with her position on the display of Confederate monuments.

This is absolute nonsense. Voters in South Carolina should demand an answer to a very simple question: Does Ms. Templeton wish that the Confederacy had been successful in its bid for independence?

No one is asking her to “disavow” her family or to sweep the state’s history under the table, but if someone running for public office claims to embrace or have pride in the history of the Confederacy in 2017, you better be prepared to explain it.

So, short of wishing that they had won,exactly what does it mean to be a “proud Daughter of the Confederacy.”