Step Away From the Monument, Mr. Morrissey

This is a wonderful example illustrating the difference between genuine concern about the public display of Confederate iconography and using it as a political football. Richmond mayoral candidate, Joe Morrissey, recently made news for announcing that if he wins he would push for the removal of the Jefferson Davis monument on Monument Avenue.

Today he has reversed course and is instead calling for “altering” the monument. That would involve the following, according to Morrissey:

What I would like to do is have a statue including Jefferson Davis and Union black soldiers and Confederate black soldiers showing unification. And I think that upon further reflection is a better course of action.

So, Morrissey wants to substitute one myth for another. I would love to know who is advising Morrissey on these issues. Where did he learn about black Confederates and what does this tell us about his ability to vet information?

A public official should not be making suggestions about moving or altering monuments to the past if he/she does not have a grasp of basic facts.

All I can say is that this is another wonderful example of why I am working on my current book project.

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5 comments… add one
  • bob carey Oct 13, 2016 @ 12:23

    Does this guy have any chance of winning?
    I would say that this is par for the course in 2016. This whole election year is an embarrassment and an insult to the American public.

  • Leonard Lanier Oct 11, 2016 @ 11:29

    Based upon the family picture that Morrissey hands out at rallies, his sudden change of heart on the Davis memorial fits his, ahem, unique way of operating a political campaign.

  • Mike R. Oct 11, 2016 @ 5:43

    How about adding a statue of a black Union soldier arresting Jeff Davis at bayonet point? That would be creative and historically correct.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 11, 2016 @ 8:23

      It’s an incredibly strange suggestion given Davis’s initial argument against the recruitment of black men into the Confederate army, not to mention the fact that the Confederacy was fighting to maintain and expand slavery.

    • Nathan Towne Oct 25, 2016 @ 7:24

      I agree with you that this type of thing is disappointing coming from a public figure. I don’t really understand your suggestion though. Davis was captured by men from the Fourth Michigan Cavalry regiment, so Davis was certainly never arrested by black Federal troops.

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