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June 02, 2017


Jeff Piccoli

Can’t seem to really get my hands around you progressives. Your all over Trump, thinking he colluded with the Russians to win an election; you guys use to like those guys. Now you praise soviet revisionist history tactics of purging previous leaders free from historical records. New Orleans could have used the statue as a teaching symbol and a reminder of past errors. Now with all confederate historical items being purged, within a generation, no one will know the past, good and bad. Then to see Boston progressive idiots jump into the mix just to show their PC creds. You know Washington was a slave owner. Rally the Bastille mob and let’s march on the Public Garden and take that slave owner off his horse and remove him! I have a term for the likes of Mitch Landrieu, of the corrupt New Orleans Landrieu’s, a special kind of stupid.

Paul A. Tamburello, Jr. aka pt at large

I don't think there is a one size fits all kind of solution. What makes sense for New Orleans is not necessarily what makes sense for Boston. I agree that we need to live with and learn from our past - and think we don't do a very good job of doing that.
What I liked about the Ty Burr commentary is that he asked questions, provided facts and got us talking about a cultural and historic symbols that are present in every city in the country. There probably isn't one subject in America more third rail-ish than attitudes about race.
I don't think we need to revise history, do think we need to acknowledge some 'inconvenient truths' about some of our heroes, local and national...and use it to engage in the teaching moments you mentioned. Our history is so much messier than what is written in texts and on statues.


Paul, I haven’t yet seen your response to Jeff, but I confess that my first instinct upon reading your revised ending was the same as Jeff’s. He wrote: "New Orleans could have used the statue as a teaching symbol and a reminder of past errors. Now with all confederate historical items being purged, within a generation, no one will know the past, good and bad.”

I found myself wishing they would post a plaque beside the statue to explain Lee's fall from grace as the result simply of the changing belief systems/values systems of the dominant cultural paradigm. Note that I didn’t say changing beliefs of Americans, because clearly some folks haven’t changed their beliefs at all. If we are indeed a democracy where free speech is welcomed, these ‘confederate’ values should be allowed to be presented in symbolic form - ie, Robert E. Lee’s statue.

And there should also be statues of Black Lives Matter heroes as well. Not just MLKing, but also Malcolm X and the Panthers.

"Let a hundred flowers bloom...” a worthy
idea, even if it's a quote from Mao Zedong


Susan, when you elevate Malcolm X and the Black Panthers to hero status, I worry about your judgement.

Myke Farricker

Paul - Thanks so much for sending this. That was one of the greatest speeches I have ever read, or heard in my mind as I was reading it. Very moving, and how eloquent. Thanks again!

Ty Burr

Email from Ty Burr after I commented on his Boston Globe story.

Thanks Paul, for the kind words and for the link to your post. Very nicely said! Ty

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