“Well, it’s hard to believe. So you get up to leave. And you laugh at the door. That you heard it all before. Oh it’s so good to know. That it’s all just a show for you. ” — L.A. / Neil Young 1976
I awoke this morning with the weirdest feeling.
Early this morning, the second of four statues commemorating the Confederate era was taken down. Once again, the city started work at about midnight. By 5am, the statue and base plate of Jefferson Davis was trucked away to some unknown destination. Some city warehouse. This doesn’t feel right. Not in the dead of night.
Don’t misunderstand. I am no fan of the succession. Of our Civil War. At the root of it, no matter what anybody says about states rights, was slavery. And, the right to own another human being. Granting freedom to those slaves took a lot of the South’s monetary worth. Reconstruction, after Lincoln was assassinated, was brutal when it didn’t need to be. I think many of the officers who served in the CSA should have been tried under the Uniform Military Code of Justice. But, Abraham Lincoln was smarter than I and pardoned just about everyone.
That said, times are changing.
There have been semi-violent exchanges between both sides. By extremists who don’t even live in the city. They should all go home. Let us, who do live here, work it out. Hell, I never gave the monuments a second thought until all of this started. Now I do.
Taking down these four monuments are being done for the most base of reasons.
Our mayor, of whom I am a fan more than a critic, wants to play on the national stage. He may want to replace his sister, who until 2016 was one of our senators. He may have bigger aspirations.
Generating the kind of publicity that he’s garnered over the past two years has certainly gotten the nation’s attention.
There is talk of him being a presidential candidate in 2020. Yeah, right.
While the problems that I write about from time to time — broken streets, broken infrastructure, a higher per capita murder higher than Chicago’s — are certainly not entirely his fault because they well pre-date him, he hasn’t done enough over his two terms to alleviate that. If he can’t manage a small city, how can he manage a nation?
My belief is simple. If you are doing the right thing for the right reason, you shine a light on it. You do it in broad daylight. Not in the dark of night.
So. I feel weird about the whole thing. Very weird.
And, I said Storyteller isn’t a political blog. Heh!
I suppose that the outside drives the inside in art. After all, you can’t make art in a vacuum. I haven’t been to any of these sites yet. At least, not after the protests started. I think it’s time for a visit. I know where a number of city storage facilities are located. I think I’ll poke around a bit today. Maybe the Jefferson Davis statue is hiding in plain sight.
Seems like I’ve heard it all before.
The picture. You won’t believe this, but it was made on an older iPhone. At the time the sensor and processor could not handle the extreme light in the picture. While I cleaned it up some in post production, most of what you see was made in camera. Er, in phone.