On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that the decision of whether or not to take down or keep up Confederate monuments has to be done on a case-by-case basis depending on the history, content, and context of the monument.
Krauthammer said that there is a “legitimate debate on both sides” and there’s fault in saying that we have to eliminate all Confederate monuments and in saying that they all should be kept. He continued that every monument has “a different history, content, and context. And if we were rational, this isn’t exactly a rational moment, we would evaluate them in that context. … Some of the statues were sincerely held tributes, some of them by the Union, to their fallen comrades in the Confederacy as a symbol of reconciliation and sort of the better angels. I will commend your viewers to go to Arlington National Cemetery, remember, the cemetery of the victorious union, go to section 16, it is devoted to a monument to the Confederate soldiers buried there, arrayed around this monument with a very touching inscription speaking about these men, these Confederates ‘in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all, and died.’ … You wouldn’t want to touch that. That is almost sacred.”
He added, “Now, on the other hand, 100 years later, many Southern states put up statues to the Confederacy, as symbols of not the Civil War, but of their resistance to civil rights, and to Supreme Court rulings and desegregation. That’s a very different category. And that’s where I think it’s far more problematic. ”
Krauthammer also argued that “Our problem is we’re instilling in our children an understanding of our past which is a patho-history. All of our sins, the Indians, African-Americans, slavery, women, it’s a history of oppression, which is such a one-sided and sort of destructive understanding of history that you get a generation who come out of it and think, ‘What’s left, what is worth defending?’ That’s where I really worry. Less about the monuments, which are sort of a reflection of that, but that’s where I think that we have to start to rebuild a kind of civic culture and an appreciation of the glory of American history, with all of its flaws and its uniqueness.”
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