When the slave owners lost the Civil War they developed a plot to rewrite history honoring those that terrorized and murdered millions of blacks. The plot was called the Redeemer Movement of the Lost Cause, which sought to lie about the role of these pro-slavery men by erecting monuments that rewrote history and erased the true history of what they stood for. Placing these symbols in a museum is not erasing history as some claim, but it is placing it in a proper context and telling the whole truth about those that fought for a destructiveness some wish to hide. The confederacy was against humanity and the abolitionist cause to respect all human beings, and not simply honoring those that fought to enslave people. Honoring these supporters of slavery is a disgrace to San Antonio and the world. Simple logic tells me that you don't erase history in a museum! It does not require extensive research to discover what these so-called redeemers did. Just type in Redeemer Movement and/or Lost Cause on a Google search and learn something new. We should all learn something new on a regular basis.
I disagree with the Mayor Ivy Taylor on that symbol of hatred in Travis Park. Hatred should not be allowed in a city park, especially in-your-face hatred. The confederate statue in San Antonio is located in downtown San Antonio at Travis Park. I organized the first protest at the site demanding that this disgraceful statue be removed. Unfortunately, San Antonio’s mayor continues to refuse to support removal of the statue to a museum. The excuse that she provides is that it would be “erasing history.” Anyone who knows what a museum does would know that museums do not erase history! Cities across America are removing these hateful symbols and in 2016 the County of Bexar, which includes San Antonio removed all of its confederate symbols from the local courthouse. This move was presented to the County Commissioners Court and was pushed through by Precinct 4 African American County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr.
With all due respect to the mayor, apparently, she knows very little about symbols of hate and the development of them before and during the Jim Crow era. For the mayor’s benefit, this nation, from its inception was born of political birth defects that have gained acceptance in mass thought by constant repetition of invented factual evidence by erasing all other versions that do not comply with the accepted norms of those who controlled the reins of power. Monuments that tell only one side of the story are designed to erase history as the Travis Park one is doing every day it stays up. The facts of the Civil War are removed from statues and symbols that honor confederate soldiers that fought for the slave plantation owners.
Though I make no claims to universal truth, I understand the mechanisms of diluting and ignoring certain aspects of history in order to develop myths that buttress all regimes. That statue was erected in Travis Park during the time of Jim Crow law. It was a resolute event to buttress the racism of the South and the aficionados of white supremacy. If, for example, one wanted to cover up an important detail in the analysis of political history, to protect the ideological structure of a regime, in this case the ancestors of a white supremacist movement, what better way to do that than to ignore important features of what took place around a political event or political actor. If one were to try and convince the general public that the Civil War was not about slavery it is simple enough to ignore the economic wealth of the plantation system, and the use of slaves, in the production of cotton and what that economic loss would mean to a slave owning class that had entrenched itself in this mode of production in the South. Simply put, the slave owners had much to lose if slavery were abolished.
The driving force behind the Civil War was slavery, and the millions of dollars that stood to be lost if slavery were abolished. Since slavery was abolished officially, the next best thing was to institute Jim Crow law in order to perpetuate the doctrines of bigotry under the guise of honoring the dead. But, what dead? The soldiers that defended slavery? The formulations of Jim Crow were embedded into the thinking of South and immortalized with symbols and statues. The problems of slavery, though it goes back centuries, are still with us in the form of wolves howling for us to remember traitors, pro-slavery men, and racists. There will be more protests to remove this symbol of bigotry that disgraces the city to be sure.