Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Letter to Mayor Rawlings about Frances Cudjoe Waters being chosen to head a task force concerning the Confederate monuments

A copy of the letter was sent FedEx to all 14th city council members. I don't think Rev. Waters should head up the task force unless she can speak to the United Methodist Church (UMC) hosting neo-Confederate groups.

This is the letter:
                                                                    September 3, 2017

                                                                    Edward H. Sebesta

Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor and City Council City of Dallas
Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla St.
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

In your online published memo I see that you have appointed as Confederate monuments task force chair Rev. Frances Cudjoe Waters who in your memo list as a minister of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and who has been a leader and strategist in that denomination. A brief review of Rev. Waters activities show a remarkably talented person and a person with a social conscious  and active in the pursuit of social justice.

However, since you brought up Rev. Waters’s leadership role in the UMC as a qualification, I would like Rev. Water’s to speak to the UMC’s history of lending their facilities to neo-Confederate groups, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC.)

I have been writing denominations and individual churches asking them to not lend their facilities and the prestige of their denomination and historical buildings to neo-Confederate groups. After writing St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 2014 in Richmond, Virginia they decided to disinvite the UDC.  (http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2014/nov/07/confederates-hold-service-downtown-church/).

St. Paul’s later decided to give up the Confederacy. This was the church which both Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis attended during the Civil War. (http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/article_fda4f734-e732-5c7f-bbe3-5f66f1f09cb3.html)

However, the UMC record on this is very poor. Despite extensive correspondence to individual hosting churches, UMC bishops, and the national leadership the record has been a refusal to engage the issue. UMC churches continue to lend their facilities to the UDC. I enclose a package documenting the UDC activities at UMC churches.

I enclose some documentation about the SCV and the UDC. The SCV documentation was written up a dossier published at Black Commentator, (http://www.blackcommentator.com/526/526_confederacy_sebesta_guest_share.htm), and I enclose three articles from UDC Magazine.  One UDC magazine argues that the 14th Amendment was a mistake; another is about “shrine to the Red Shirts,” a violent white terroristic group in 1876 in South Carolina, and yet another recommends the pro-Klan book, “Southern by the Grace of God,” to be given to children as a “treasure.” I enclose a short article on these materials published in the Dallas Morning News, which provides more information about this book. (https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/17/confederate-heritage-root-recent-tragedies-troubles)

Incidentally these groups often come with sad, sad faces talking nostalgic memory. Everyone might well consider these materials while they are talking to the city council and to the task force.

I have no idea if Rev. Waters knows of this UMC activity much less endorses it.  I suspect that Rev. Waters probably is entirely unaware of this activity and very likely would be very much dismayed to learn of it.

However, Rev. Waters is tasked to deal with the difficult issues of historical memory in Dallas. I think it would be instructive to know Rev. Waters’s thoughts regarding the UMC enabling of neo-Confederate groups.  

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

Letter to Dallas Mayor Rawlings about his proposed task force.

You can see that I incorporate into this letter the concept of the speech I didn't give on August 12, 2017.

This is the link to the blog posting at the Anti-Neo-Confederate blog.


This is one of the two letters I sent Fed Ex Sunday to reach the mayor. Copies were sent to all city council members.

                                                           September 3, 2017


Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor and City Council City of Dallas
Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla St.
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Hon. Rawlings:

I enclose a copy of an article published in The Grio, May 26, 2017 online at http://thegrio.com/2017/05/26/hundreds-of-confederate-statues-still-standing/.  I am quoted on the 4th page of the article about what the form of opposition to Confederate statues will take.  The section is highlighted in yellow.

The sections explains that these rationalizations to retain Confederate monuments will be represented as some type of sophisticated understanding of historical memory instead of the issue of race. It is my belief that these are manifestations of banal white nationalism driven by fear of loss of control over the landscape and how America is defined.

One method to enable these rationalizations is to set up a commission, committee or task force composed of members of the local establishment who are predisposed against removal to formulate these rationalizations and present them as expert opinion.  We already have an indication what type of task force this might be with the Bravo Walker interview in the Dallas Morning News in which Walker states that he wants to “save so badly” the Robert E. Lee statue. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/09/01/dallas-mayors-confederate-monument-task-force-member-questions-mission.

I think it needs to be considered that as other cities take down their Confederate monuments that Dallas’s Confederate monuments will be scarecrows indicating what type of city Dallas is.

                                                                        Sincerely Yours,

                                                                        Edward H. Sebesta

CC: Next page

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Article about the ideology of violence of the neo-Confederate movement published in the "Dallas Morning News"

The ideology of violence of the neo-Confederate movement.

The fear, rage and fantasies of revenge. I wrote the first draft Friday before the death of Heather Heyer. I am hoping that people are alerted so that there won't be another death.


Maurice Ash of Up n Up News has a great video on the struggle against Confederate Monuments in Dallas and Charlottesville

This is the link to the video. If you are on Facebook please share.


It is about the struggle against Confederate monuments in Dallas and Charlottesville.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Letter to the mayor of Dallas, the public, DISD school board, and Dallas City Council: UPDATES Our letter has been published by the "Dallas Morning News"

This is the letter Michael Phillips and I are gathering signatures for. We expect to have 20 or 30 local scholars sign if not more. Michael Phillips was interviewed today for WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas, Texas about removing the monument. It is supposed to air 10pm tonight. 

http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/letters-petition-sent-to-end-dallas-confederate-monuments/458080268    News coverage of the letter. 
The letter: 

To the people of Dallas, Members of the Dallas City Council, and Trustees of the Dallas School Board from the Committee of Scholars:

As Kathryn Allamong Jacob masterfully explains in her book, “Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, D.C”:

“Mundane as they may appear, ubiquitous as they may be, public monuments constitute serious cultural authority. They are important precisely because, by their mere presence and their obvious expense, they impose a memory of an event or individual on the public landscape that orders our lives. These monuments confer a legitimacy upon the memory they embody. Their size and costliness testify to its importance. And by imprinting one memory, they erase others.”

Furthermore, monuments have authority because of their prominent placement in public locations, often near prestigious institutions or government buildings.  Their location implies that the community endorses the ideals the monuments represent.  Jacob explains that “public monuments help shape collective memory. They weave an intricate web of remembrance in which certain threads are highlighted, or validated, while others are dropped or disappear.”

This effort to shape the public’s understanding of the past is a method of shaping the values of the present. If someone is supposedly a hero fighting for a cause, then the cause that person fought for must have been heroic as well.  A monument to a movement or nation or event inherently defines that movement, nation, or event as being glorious. Monuments monumentally endorse a set of values.

Monuments in public spaces represent what the city, county, state or nation seeks to represent as its core beliefs. Monuments work to shape identity. Shaping identities and influencing values is a strategy to influence, if not control, the future.

Every Confederate monument standing today loudly proclaims that, whatever might be said about civil rights and racial equality in contemporary political discourse, that the enduring values of this place, this city, and this people is white supremacy.

Discussion of Confederate monuments has focused on what offense they might give to African Americans, but it is overlooked that they poison others with their message of white supremacy. It is not surprising that white nationalist Richard Spencer grew up in Dallas and marches in defense of Confederate monuments, for he grew up in the shadow of such edifices.

Every Confederate monument proclaims that African American lives, their suffering, and the crimes committed against them really don’t matter.  For if African American lives mattered these monuments would be gone. These monuments instruct the public, including judges, police officers, and jurors that fair treatment under the law for African Americans represents an avoidable inconvenience. The plaque at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center honoring Robert E. Lee in the hallway to the Dallas County Central Jury Room instructs those jurors that African American freedom is expendable.

These monuments also instruct African American youth, that despite all the claims that might be made in the schools, that their hopes and their dreams are not treasured by society. British journalist of Barbadian descent, Gary Younge, in his book, “No Place Like Home: A Black Briton’s Journey Through the American South,” describes his feelings while walking amidst a series of one hundred-year-old statues depicting Confederate leaders on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia:

I turned around to walk back up Monument Avenue, feeling angry and confused… I had spent about an hour walking along a road in which four men who fought to enslave me… have been honoured and exalted. I resented the fact that on the way to work every day, black people have to look at that. Imagine how black children must feel when they learn that the people who have been raised and praised up the road are the same ones who tried to keep their great-great-grandparents in chains.

Confederate monuments are ongoing source of alienation. We should not be surprised that when alienation is taught, in the schools, in political debates, and in public spaces that young people receive the message and become alienated themselves.

The city has a massive Confederate War Memorial near the Dallas Convention Center.  This work features statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston, as well as the Confederacy’s only president, Jefferson Davis.  The figures surround a statue of a Confederate soldier atop a 60-foot pillar. One inscription on the monument pays tribute to “the genius and valor of Confederate seamen.” 

We have a Robert E. Lee Park in Oak Lawn that features an equestrian statue of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia near a replica of a slavery-era plantation home.  Meanwhile, multiple sculptures referencing the Confederacy and the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America can be found at Fair Park.  A Confederate flag hangs at Fair Park’s Great Hall, which also includes a massive medallion on one wall incorporating a female figure representing the Confederacy.  A mural featuring portraits of Confederate generals John Bell Hood, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Dick Dowling adorns another wall.

Although the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School will be changed, there are numerous other Dallas schools named after prominent Confederate military officers and political leaders:  William Cabell, William H. Gaston, John Ireland, Sidney Lanier, Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, John H. Reagan, and Oran M. Roberts. 

Some of the individuals honored have no direct relationship to Dallas history while some figured prominently in Dallas’ past, but all willingly, and often enthusiastically, participated in a treasonous war fought to preserve chattel slavery, that caused the deaths of 750,000 Americans and the maiming of tens of thousands more, and attempted to tear the nation asunder. The time has come for these tributes to the Confederacy to come down and for public buildings that bear the names of those whose fame is primarily tied to their service to a slave republic to assume a new identity.

Most loathsome of Dallas’s monuments, and perhaps singularly loathsome of Confederate monuments everywhere is the one-third replica of Robert E. Lee’s plantation home, Arlington House, in Lee Park.  Weddings frequently take place there.  Plantations were sites of the rape, beating, and torture of slaves.  The faux plantation features a portrait of Robert E. Lee, a white supremacist who fought for slavery and white supremacy.  The participants in such weddings demonstrate by their actions that they consider the horrors of slavery a triviality. They befoul their marriages and bequeath to any heirs a legacy of racial callousness and indifference to evil.

These monuments have stood mostly unchallenged for decades because the American history textbooks used in public schools are in themselves largely, metaphorically, Confederate monuments, which obscure, if not erase history, diminish the value of African American lives, and train generations of Americans to not comprehend the horrors of human bondage as practiced in the United States.

The Robert E. Lee so elaborately honored at Lee Park and elsewhere in Dallas was a harsh slave master.  Wesley Norris, who suffered the misfortune of being owned by Lee, recounted that he endured a beating after he attempted to escape in 1859.  When Norris was captured, Lee said he would teach Norris “a lesson he would never forget.” Norris offered the following account of what happened next:

[H]e then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to lay it on well, an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.

During the Civil War Lee stated that slavery represented the most appropriate relationship between whites and African Americans since African Americans were an inferior race.  After the Civil War, Lee campaigned against granting African Americans civil rights.  He stated in testimony to the Reconstruction Committee of Congress that Virginia would be better off if it got rid of African Americans.
This is the man families honor when they hold weddings at Lee Park at the replication of Arlington House.  Consciously or not, they celebrate their marriage by paying tribute to the slave past.  For this reason, the clergy should not agree to perform weddings at Arlington House.  Whatever the resolutions, position papers or published policies of denominations might be regarding race, whatever fine phrases these proclamations might say, religious leaders of prominent churches, temples, and other places of worship who perform marriages at the Arlington House replica in Dallas will be complicit in a Robert E. Lee plantation wedding. They will give their seal of approval to a ceremony that renders frivolous the oppression of African Americans in the slavery era, whitewashes history, and promotes a white supremacist worldview.

Organizations that meet at the replica plantation house show contempt for African Americans as well. When the owners of properties like The Claridge, 21 Turtle Creek, 3525 Turtle Creek, The Mayfair, The Vendôme, and The Wyndemere sponsor “Lighting Up Lee Park” we see how the upper classes of Dallas embrace a duplicate Robert E. Lee plantation, and adorn it to celebrate the birth of Christ. What does this say about the Dallas Christian community that this doesn’t raise a cry of disgust?

These monuments glorify violent insurrectionists who sought to tear the United States of America apart.  The implied endorsement of the Confederate cause these monuments represent is toxic to today’s politics.  Multiple polls, both national and statewide, have shown disturbingly high percentages of the Texas public supporting secession. In May 2016, the Texas state Republican Party platform committee at their convention in Dallas astonishingly voted down a secession resolution by only 16 to 14 with one abstention. It might be thought that such a resolution would not get a single vote or even be presented for a vote by a mainstream political organization. This past June, participants in the Texas Boys State government education program sponsored by the American Legion, during an exercise in which they portrayed members of the state Legislature, voted for the secession of Texas from the United States. The tributes to the Confederacy that pockmark the landscape are teaching the state’s next generation of leaders that treason is an honorable political option.

Sadly, Americans today need to be reminded why secession took place in 1861. The purpose of the Confederacy was clearly to preserve white racial dictatorship. Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens made this clear in his infamous “Cornerstone Speech” on March 21, 1861, when he said that the Confederate nation that he and the other leaders of the secession movement hoped to establish rested “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. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

In the “Declaration of Causes Which Impel Texas to Secede from the Federal Union,” Feb. 2, 1861, of the Texas secession convention repeatedly cited slavery as the reason for leaving the Union:

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color—a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
            For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

            By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

            . . . They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
             They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.


That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

To its shame, Dallas still honors the Confederacy, its institution of slavery, and Confederate leaders.  It is time for these memorials to come down.  Some will argue that the Confederate monuments are “history.”  There is a fundamental difference, however, between history and propaganda.  History does not have as its primary object glamorization.  History is about analysis, context, and explaining the origins of ideas, institutions, and events. Confederate memorials do none of these things.  We should not continue to honor the Confederacy even as there are people who played a critical and positive role in Dallas history who receive inadequate or no tribute such as:

·         The African American slaves and sharecroppers whose unpaid labor built the city’s and the county’s economy.

·         Carl Brannin, who fought for the rights of workers in Dallas.

·         Jessie Daniel Ames who, unlike Lee, actually lived in Dallas and led the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.

·         A. Maceo Smith, who led voter registration and poll tax payment drives in Dallas and was the man most responsible for the creation of the “Hall of Negro Life,” the only acknowledgement of the African American contribution to Texas culture and history at the state’s Centennial Fair held here in 1936.

·         John Leslie Patton, a Dallas school principal who fought to bring a consciousness of African and African American history to black students in this city in the 1930s and 1940s.

·         John Mason Brewer, who taught in this city in the 1930s and preserved for the ages Texas’ African American folklore.

·         Juanita Craft, a leader of the Dallas NAACP who battled to end segregation at the State Fair at Fair Park.

·         W.J. Durham, a local NAACP attorney who fought to end discrimination against African Americans at Neiman Marcus and other Dallas department stores.

·         John W. “Preacher” Hays, who not only fought for Dallas workers but resisted racism within the white union movement.

·         Pancho Medrano, a crusader for Latino/a, African American, and workers’ rights.

·         Rabbi Levi Olan, an often-lonely voice for civil rights in Dallas in the late 1940s and the 1950s.

·         Adelfa Callejo, who in 1961 became the first Latina to graduate from Southern Methodist University’s law school, who led protests against the murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez by a Dallas police officer in 1973, who resisted selective and racist deportations of undocumented workers, and fought to democratize Dallas politics through single-member city council districts.

Confederate monuments, if left to stand, will proclaim a sad truth about Dallas to the world, that these accurately reflect the values of modern Dallas however much it might be denied.

The residents of Dallas have to decide who they want to be. Do they want to be the residents of an American city with democratic values that promote civil rights and racial equality, or do they want to be residents of a Confederate city with plantation values, with the values of a hierarchical society of inequality?

The residents of Dallas have to decide whether they want to leave the metaphysical plantation of the past and enter a brighter American future or to be forever prisoners of it.

In short, who do we want to be and what future do we wish to choose: American and democratic, or Confederate and anti-democratic?

Other cities have chosen the American future. The Charlottesville, Va. City Council voted to sell its Robert E. Lee statue. And this spring, the city of New Orleans made international headlines when it removed four racist monuments.  Three were statues of Jefferson Davis, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, and Robert E. Lee. The fourth was the so-called Liberty Place Monument, which glorified the assault by the White League, a Reconstruction-era racist organization that assaulted New Orleans’ bi-racial police force and temporarily overthrew a Republican governor accused of ushering in an era of “negro domination.”

As Mayor Landrieu said after the removal of the Lee statue in his city, “To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. It is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future . . . The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.”

More and more cities are choosing to give up the Confederacy. We can do this also, if we are willing to confront the reality of what these Dallas Confederate monuments do.

We ask the citizens of Dallas not to hold weddings or wedding receptions at Robert E. Lee Park or any other location that celebrates or attempts to honor the Confederacy and that guests not attend any such functions.

We ask the religious leaders not to perform weddings at Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that celebrate the Confederacy, nor perform weddings which will later be celebrated at such places.

We ask businesses to not provide goods or services for plantation weddings at Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that celebrate the Confederacy.

We ask that organizations not have events at Robert E. Lee Park or any other location that celebrates the Confederacy and we ask the citizens of Dallas not to attend any events at the Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that honor the Confederate slave republic.

We ask that the city of Dallas to remove all Confederate monuments to storage or a museum. We ask that the city of Dallas to eliminate Confederate place names such as Robert E. Lee Park and Confederate Drive. We ask the city of Dallas to not celebrate or promote the Confederacy with sculpture and art work at Fair Park.

We ask the Dallas Independent School District rename all schools named after Confederate leaders: William Cabell, William H. Gaston, John Ireland, Sidney Lanier, Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, John H. Reagan, and Oran M. Roberts and to not give the schools dual names under the pretext of historical preservation.

We ask the city of Dallas, the Dallas Independent School District, Dallas cultural institutions, and the people of Dallas to choose a path to a multiracial democratic American society and away from the dark past of white supremacy.


Dr. Michael Phillips
Collin College Department of History
Plano, Texas
Author of White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001

Edward Sebesta
Dallas, Texas
Editor of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.

Dr. Chad Pearson
Collin College Department of History
Plano, Texas
Author of Reform or Repression: Organizing America’s Anti-Union Movement


We continue to get more co-signers.

Dr. Michael W. Waters, Founder and Senior Pastor, Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church, Dallas, Texas, Author of Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America.

Imam Omar Suleiman Director of the Islamic Learning Foundation of Texas And Resident Scholar at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center Irving, Texas

Ed Gray Master of Liberal Studies Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas

Dr. Ed Countryman Southern Methodist University Department of History Dallas, Texas Author of Enjoy the Same Liberty: Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era.

Keith Volanto, Collin College, Dept. of History, Plano, Texas, Author of Texas, Cotton, and the New Deal.

Lisa Roy-Davis, Colin College Dept. of English, Plano, Texas

Dr. Neil Foley, Professor, Robert and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Co-Director, Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist Univ. Author of The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture.

Rabbi Steve Fisch, Congregation Beth El Binah, Dallas, Texas

Monday, June 12, 2017

Allison Wicks, "D Magazine," American Ideas Institute, "American Conservative"

American Conservative has published another article defending Confederate monuments by Quentin B. Fairchild.


Intellectually it is just so much thrashing but represents the type of arguments we will face.

I think that what is important is to know which players are behind it.

American Conservative is published by the American Ideas Institute.  The masthead for the magazine and the board of directors for the American Ideas Institute are at this web page.


You will see that Allison Wicks is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the publisher of D Magazine.

This is the 2nd article American Conservative has published defending Confederate statues.

This is an earlier blog on a previous article in American Conservative defending Confederate monuments by Rod Dreher.


I am not surprised that American Conservative is taking the lead to defend Confederate monuments. In their pages I have found many persons who contributed to Southern Partisan or Chronicles or otherwise are involved in neo-Confederate groups.

Reactionary Dallas appears to be mobilizing to defend Confederate monuments.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Article in "The Atlantic," The True History of the South Is Not Being Erased.

Garrett Epps has this article, "The True History of the South Is Not Being Erased," in The Atlantic.


The subtitle is, "Taking down Confederate monuments helps confront the past, not obscure it."

He has a reference to an earlier article, "The Motionless Ghosts That Haunt the South," in The Atlantic also. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/the-motionless-ghosts-that-haunt-the-south/526668/ In that article he says it is time to take the statues down.

He is mentioned as a "Richmond native."

The article "True History" is in response to the reaction he got from his "Ghosts" article.

Epps rejects the ridiculous claim that removing monuments is erasing history.

I post these two articles as a resource for when we start acting to bring down the Robert E. Lee monument and other Confederate monuments and face the usual excuses and rationalizations for them.

I plan on blogging these articles so that when have a full resource when we start our effort.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Myth of the Kindly General Lee


In short as the article states:

The strangest part about the continued personality cult of Robert E. Lee is how few of the qualities his admirers profess to see in him he actually possessed.
The myth of Lee goes something like this: He was a brilliant strategist and devoted Christian man who abhorred slavery and labored tirelessly after the war to bring the country back together.

The author, Adam Stevens, goes on to demolish these myths.

Share this article on Facebook and by email with as many people you can.

Dallas City Councilman calls for the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue

The discussion of Confederate monuments has started in Dallas, Texas.  The following is one article.


This is the Dallas Morning News editorial on the topic.


I am thinking that the Dallas business community is deciding that Confederate monuments are negative contributions to the image of the city.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"Confederate monument supporters say the darnedest things"


The above is the link to the article. It is a take down of various half-witted things Confederate monument supporters say.

We will hear in Dallas many if not all of the nonsensical arguments that Confederate monument defenders make. So I think this is a good primer to study.

The local Dallas opposition


The title is "The Day They Took Old Dixie Down."

The author, Rod Dreher, was formerly an editor at the Dallas Morning News.

Dreher is currently asking Christians to withdraw from American life and live in separatist communities. Jim Schutze has this article about Dreher and his "Benedict Option."

He is giving up on America because of same-sex marriage. Being a separatist it is perhaps not surprising that he wants to see monuments to Confederate separatists remain.

The American Conservative is published by the American Ideas Institute. I recognize many authors from those that write for Chronicles magazine published by the Rockford Institute.

And persons who wrote for Southern Partisan magazine.

The chairman of the board is Allison Wicks. He publishes D Magazine, the monthly magazine of Dallas, Texas.

In New Orleans the real power supporting the Confederate monuments was the rich. However, Mitch Landrieu was willing to call them out by name. Using front groups wasn't going to work as a vehicle to allow rich white people to defend Confederate monuments without being associated with the Confederacy. Frank Stewart was outed as a defender of the Confederate monuments in New Orleans and was very unhappy about it. This is my blog on it.

So I think we can expect in Dallas various front groups to defend the Robert E. Lee monument and they will be backed by various rich white factions. They will probably have African American spokespersons.

The New Orleans take down of the Robert E. Lee monument is a great example for the nation and I think locally in Dallas it will inspire people to work to take down the Robert E. Lee monument in Dallas, Texas.

However, we should expect that we will face much more than the opposition of American Conservative magazine, we will face powerful white elites and we will face a phalanx of African American apologists for the Robert E. Lee monument.

Friday, May 19, 2017

We need to do this in Dallas, Texas


New Orleans is taking down the Robert E. Lee statue today, May 19, 2017.

When will Dallas, Texas take down its Robert E. Lee statue.

Pictures of the Robert E. Lee statue being taken down in New Orleans.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kevin M. Levin talks down to Sarah Jones of the "New Republic" magazine.

Kevin M. Levin attempts to patronize Sarah Jones of the "New Republic." You can read the exchange here on Twitter if you are a member. I printed it out for my records.


In this conversation he is the expert talking down to Sarah Jones. He also uses his usual tactic avoiding debate on the issues by either questioning the competency of the individual or their right to debate the issue.

You really have to read the entire series this is one example. Not the capitalization of "WHY" and the expression "you would do well to consider."

Levin pulls out what he thinks will flatten Jones by asking whether she has been to Richmond. If Jones hasn't then she is some type of outside agitator. This is the theme of "Sweet Home Alabama" that Jones is an outsider.

Turns out that Sarah Jones is from Virginia and has been to Richmond many times.

Then it is more patronizing stuff.

Levin's patronizing of Sarah Jones is this article by Jones in New Republic.

Levin blogs on this encounter.

Levin is bent out of shape that Sarah Jones doesn't think much of the efforts of the local historical societies and what cliques they make up and of which he is in good standing.

He can't comprehend that some figures in the larger national establishment are just coming out  and saying these statues need to go and really don't care what rationalizations or excuses or clever strategems the local historical cliques have come up with.

I wonder how long it is going to be before The Atlantic decides that Levin is retrograde.

I wonder if Texas legislators will have the gumption to stand up against white supremacy.

These are some links to stories about African American legislators walking out of the Louisiana House after it voted to protect Confederate monuments. Another is an article denouncing the legislation as part of white supremacy.

I wonder if Texas legislators would stand against Confederate monuments so strongly?



Sunday, May 14, 2017

"Atlantic" magazine has article that it is time for the Confederate monuments to come down


What is interesting about this article is that the liberal establishment and neo-liberal establishment is deciding that the Confederate monuments need to go and are providing the space for voices against Confederate monuments to be heard. This is an important change from the past where these type of publications mostly didn't discuss Confederate monuments.

The old story was the Confederate flag hurt feelings of African Americans, but if the flag was gone, then everything was okay. You had to be a radical to be against Confederate monuments.

As one major journal of public opinion follows the next it will develop that they all will adopt a position that they are for the removal of Confederate monuments. Support for Confederate monuments will be confined to reactionary magazines and websites and support for Confederate monuments identified with reactionary opinion.

Arguments for contextualization will be seen for what they are, an excuse to retain monuments or just plan oddball.

Dallas is the city of boosterism and real estate development is its highest moral value. So as Confederate monuments start being removed elsewhere Dallas will increasingly look backward for having Confederate monuments in prominent locations.

Here is a quote from the article.

Those monuments, that reverence for the Lost Cause and its leaders, do lasting damage to all who live in their shadows. It’s no coincidence that Richmond was the ideological powerhouse of “massive resistance”—defiance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education—during the 1950s. That constitutional monstrosity flowed directly from neo-Confederate ideology.

Confederate monuments are going down elsewhere.

Confederate monuments are going down elsewhere. Most notably in New Orleans. However, activity is ongoing in Charlottesville, Virginia and in Shreveport, Louisiana to remove monuments.

So far 2 out of 4 monuments in New Orleans have come down. My other blog has been covering the developments closely. The other blog if you are not aware of it is http://newtknight.blogspot.com/.

As soon as the 4th monument comes down, I think that an example will be set for the entire nation that these monuments need to go and they can be removed with a focused effort. As monuments are removed elsewhere, the idea that it can be done will have more and more credibility. Also, the cities which still have Confederate monuments will be seen as retrograde.

So these are the link to my blogging.

White supremacists march for the Robert E. Statue in Charlottesville, VA.

Washington Post column arguing for Confederate monument removal and rejecting excuses to retain them.

Behind the neo-Confederate groups are influential rich white people pushing to keep the Confederate monuments. In Dallas we very likely have the same.

Efforts to remove Confederate monuments are starting elsewhere.

Discussion that a revolution against Confederate monuments is starting in New Orleans.

Sons of Confederate Veterans declares a boycott of New Orleans. I doubt this is of any consequence to New Orleans perhaps a benefit to the city.

As Confederate monuments are removed from one city people in other cities will ask their leaders why there are still Confederate monuments in their city.

I will likely have more blogs postings at the other blog about monuments going down.

You can sign up for email notification at all my blogs.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Comedy Central on Plantation weddings


I think it raises issues. However, I think that it ends up excusing plantation weddings.

Click on image to see it all. You will have to wait through a commercial.

Article about plantation weddings

The article is about the disturbing trend to have plantation weddings ignoring slavery.


This is another article commenting on "creepy" plantation weddings.


This one is fairly interesting where a couple doesn't get it why an African American wedding planner wouldn't want to do a plantation wedding.

The Arlington Hall at Robert E. Lee Park was given a Vendi Award by the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.


Maybe they should change their name to the Confederate Association of Certified Wedding Planners.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Facebook pulled the Reject Racist Robert E. Lee Event page. UPDATE: Letter delivered 1/24/2017

A certified letter has been sent to Mark Zuckerberg about the Reject Racist Robert E. Lee Event page.


I would suggest that persons who put up Facebook Event pages print them out as content is added so if Facebook pulls it, you will have some record. Also, it needs to be considered whether any anti-Racist events should be planned or promoted on Facebook if racists can get the Event page pulled.

Click on the image to see it in its entirety.

This is the letter.

                                                       January 14, 2017

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg
Chief Executive Officer of Facebook
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park, California 94025

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

I had an event page, Reject Racist Robert E. Lee, on Facebook.  Professor Phillips and I were doing an item on the Robert E. Lee Park in Dallas, Texas. It was basically an item about race, space, and place where we are practicing using social media and creating media. We do a lot of articles, but I have thought that we need to move to producing other media.

Michael Phillips is the author of, “White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001,” Univ. of Texas Press. I am a co-editor of “Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction,” by the Univ. of Texas Press and “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader,” by the University Press of Mississippi. My resume is online at http://www.templeofdemocracy.com/curriculum-vitae.html.  In 2015 I was awarded the Spirit of Freedom Medal by the African American Civil War Museum in Washington D.C. for my life’s achievements.

Imagine my surprise to find after the event that the page was pulled down by Facebook.

This was the URL.


Additionally I was the recipient of a rather opaque email stating that I had violated the “Terms of Use” and slandered me saying I had engaged in abuse. The email had no information as to which posting or activity violated the “Terms of Use.” I replied to the email making inquiries about which posting or activity of mine might be considered a breach of the terms of service and have not gotten a reply. I also note that the email doesn’t provide any link for which a person might make an inquiry. Copy of email and my reply enclosed.

Further, supposing only for the purpose of argument, that a specific posting was in violation of the terms of service, why would the whole event page have to be pulled down rather than the specific offending post? Further if there was a desire to improve participation in Facebook I would think that indicating what was in violation of “Terms of Use” would be helpful. It would be instructive of what behavior to avoid.

The pulling of the Reject Racist Robert E. Lee Facebook event page raises important questions. If someone is having a Facebook event page as part of an anti-racist event, could it be deleted by Facebook upon complaints being made by racists to Facebook? In particular if the event was against institutional racism, could an institution get Facebook to pull the page?  More generally for anyone is whether their page or event be pulled capriciously after an investment of time and energy into it.

It also seems that a page can be pulled without a means of the person who had their page pulled knowing why or having any redress.

I am writing this letter to inquire as to what happened.

1     1. What specifically was in violation of your “Terms of Use” on the event page? Please provide the entire material which you decided was in violation of the “Terms of Use” in its entirety.

2. What “Terms of Use” did it violate? Please be specific as possible not only in regards to the item in your “Terms of Use” for which you felt it violated, but also why you felt the item violated those terms. If it is in reference to your “Community Standards” please be specific which standard it violated and how you felt it violated this standard. These are the terms I see online. https://www.facebook.com/terms. These are the community standards I see online. https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.

3. What was the complaint or complaints made about the item that you then decided was in violation of your “Terms of Use?”

4. Why was the entire event page pulled down rather the specific offending item?

5. Why doesn’t your email notification of a violation of the “Terms of Use” provide any information what the item violating your “Terms of Use” was and what term it violated.

I look forward to your reply.

                                                           Sincerely Yours,

                                                            Edward H. Sebesta

This is the return receipt of the certified letter. You can see that it was delivered 1/24/2017. Click on it to view it.