The Civil Conversations Project
Civil War Historian
New Mexico State University Historian
the full report
Greg Olson (00:00):
Hey everybody. Welcome to GROWL Agency. We, this is our storyteller series presented by grill. This is civil conversations project. My name is Greg Olson. I’m the CEO of GROWL Agency. We do this show once a month and it’s really been exciting to host it. I get really excited, the opportunity to kind of research and talk to these gentlemen. Today we have really the host of this show is Wayne Hare. Who’s founded a civil conversations project and it’s been my honor to get to know him. You know every week we have a conversation and he’s really taught me a lot and it’s an opportunity for us to use our show and our reach and to really record and to educate. So with that, I’m going to turn it over for a few minutes here to have Wayne kind of introduce himself, you know, who is the man behind the civil conversation project. And then I’m also going to turn it over and let the white you can introduce the white and have you guys you know because we’re going to probably get into some heated, heated conversations here about Confederate monuments and kind of back and forth things, but why don’t I have a Wayne, why don’t you take it from here? Kind of introduce yourself and then we’ll let you and Dwight introduce each other and then we’ll go, we’ll take it to the next level.
Wayne Hare (01:27):
Thanks. Great. I had to disappear for a moment cause my dog was scratching at the door and wanted to come in. Yeah, so I’m, I’m Wayne Hare. I’m a retired federal park ranger and you know, part of my, part of my thing for a long time, Greg has been trying to get more people of color running around in the outdoors. And you know, as, as the years went by, I began to see the lack of ethnic diversity of the outdoors, kind of a part of a bigger issue. Just race relations and yeah just race relations and kind of the weird dynamics of race in this country. And so, I began to focus more on, you know, on racism and you know, capital R and I’ve been associated with a magazine called high country news for a long time. I‘ve been on their board and a few years ago they started to ask me to write about race and really one thing led to another. And when, when race started to enter politics, it’s always been in politics, but when it started to get really strongly involved in politics and maybe 2014, 2015, 2016, I just began to write more about it. The project that we call the Civil Conversations Project and high-country news got morphed into its own separate nonprofit and the whole mission statement, the goal of the civil conversations project Greg is to try to have civil conversations that will change the narrative that America tells itself about race. You know, so we have kind of a false narrative and civil conversation is kind of playing the long game, but little by little, we’re trying to plant seeds in people’s heads to understand have a better understanding of race in this country. Yeah. That’s a long, short story long.
Greg Olson (03:43):
No, I know we’re going to get more into that on the show today. And we have a recordings from all our previous shows and I appreciate the opportunity. I, again, I said, I think in some times of our conversation, a little embarrassed that I didn’t know some of these things and you actually made me feel okay because I wasn’t taught certain parts of history or brought to light. So it’s been fascinating for me to go through. And also it’s been neat to know you and like you’re out speaking on different organizations to law enforcement around the country. So, I mean you kind of go where there’s a calling for you to come out and help bridge these stories. So I do appreciate that. So let’s go, do you want to introduce the white is kind of a longtime friend cohort of yours that you’ve known for a long time, and then we can let Dwight introduce himself too. And you know, let him know. What’s kind of fascinating. Maybe something Dwight can say fascinating that you know about Wayne and maybe Wayne, something, you know, about the white for our listeners.
Wayne Hare (04:41):
I’ll do a preinduction of Dwight. All right. As I said, I came out of the national park service and when he started to you know, so I’ve always heard people when they talk about race, you know, bring the civil war into it and forever, and to somewhat to my embarrassment, I always poo-pooed that go well, the civil war was a long time ago, nobody that is alive today, ever own slaves and let’s focus on today and not, you know, 200 years ago. But as I you know, as my knowledge and evolution evolve, I began to understand how that, that the civil war that, that slavery and the civil war, they kind of set, you know, the, you know, the cure, the foundation, they set the, the, not just the tone, but they set the whole entire way of being and right relationships between, between blacks and whites. And so as I started trying to understand it, I reached out to a friend of a friend and that turned out to be Dr. Pitcaithley Who and I guess I’ll let him finish an introduction, but, but, but the story on Dr. Pitcaithley is that he’s one of the country’s leading experts in the whole civil war era. So he, and I’ve been, he’s been educating me honestly, for, for a number of years, since maybe 2013, I believe. And an awful lot of what I’ve learned from this gentleman right here.
Greg Olson (06:17):
Yeah. Thank you. Hey, Dwight how are you? Who the heck are you? And maybe a little like again, I’d like you to let the listeners know a little something about Wayne, cause they you know, he has a lot of fans out there, so
Dwight Pitcaithley (06:30):
I’m one of them. I’m one of them. I Wayne and I know each other through, through emails and that sort of thing. We’d never met face to face. We’re looking forward to that that moment, that evening, whatever it is. I spent 30 years with the national park service as a historian moved from Santa Fe to Boston, to Washington, Canada, quite luckily for two, it justly as chief historian of the national park service for my last 10 years, from 1995 to 2005 I retired then moved to Southern New Mexico. And for the last 15 years have been researching the causes of the civil war. There’s been a lot on it, but I wanted to take a deep dive into the, the, the formal, the official documents not knowing what that might be, but that roughly a 12-year dive resulted in a book I, that was published two years ago by Kansas titled the US constitution and succession a documentary anthology of slavery and white supremacy. I‘m finishing up another book on Tennessee’s succession documents and moving then onto Virginia secession documents. So, there’s plenty of as Wayne, it might tell you somewhere in this conversation, they’re about 9,000 pages of official formal published documents dealing with succession generated from December to April of 1860–1861. So there’s just no shortage of information to look at it’s of a pace. It tells us a great deal about why the South needed to succeed. And I’m trying to bring that out in these, in these books.
Greg Olson (08:56):
All right. Well, I appreciate you being on the show today. Again, on the SSM, hasn’t continued to tell me it’s an important story. So, let’s get started, I think Wayne, unless you want to go down a different path, but I’m going to open it up and kind of to start the conversation. You know one of the things we talked about, I think today, we’re going to have a discussion around Confederate monuments. And as we discussed this between the three of us about keeping up some of these Monuments and I think Dwight, if you have a number in your head, pull that together for how many monuments we think we have this discussion about what’s a monument and what’s a part, so that’s a pretty big number. So really discussing, should we keep these monuments up as part of this false narrative that I know Wayne, you can talk about what that false narrative is or should we remove them or keep them up and put historical relevance? We talked about things like if they’re in the middle of a Southern city square, where they’re on a big board, a big, beautiful horse, which I like how you described that sometime, or is it in a battlefield, right? At what point really the listener does, they work with their communities and things like that to understand, you know I want to go through some of those, so I know we’ll get into loss explanation of lost cause and state’s rights again. So we can constantly educate them what that is. And then more about the civil war. So maybe we start this conversation around these Confederate monuments, Wayne and let’s see where it goes from there.
Wayne Hare (10:01):
Yeah. Let’s see where it goes. Great, because it’s such a deep and complex and you know, emotional subject. But you know, the monuments were put up for a reason and they were put up at a certain time in our history and they are said to represent our history, right? So folks that you know, the advocate for leaving them up, you know, that, that, that you know, that think they a good thing and they show a history and want to leave them up. You know, the question would be then what history do you think these monuments represent? There’s so much confusion about the civil war. I think that Dwight would, could tell you that in his courses that when the students come in between 80 and 90% of the students don’t understand the reasons for succession that led to the war. Generally, it’s believed that it was war about a conflict over, the noble cause of States to determine their own life and their own future, you know, state’s rights depending on, you know, the Pew research organization has found that something like 40% of the American public believes that, and something like 48% of teachers teach that James Lowen, who wrote a couple of best sellers, “Lies my teacher told me and lies across America.” His informal survey says it’s more in line with what Dwight says. It’s more up around 80 to 90 of teachers believe that that’s what the civil war was about. So now these monuments that people argue passionately for leaving up because they represent history, the question then becomes, well, are we talking about the history of States’ rights or, you know, States that fought to preserve their own rights, but we are talking about States that fought to preserve slavery and. And the truth is that the civil war was only about one thing, and that is that is slavery and perpetuated by white supremacy. Most of, almost all of the monuments that got put up, Greg we’ll put up in, in, in, in two errors, right? Towards the end of reconstruction, when we’re kind of shifting from having rights for these freed slaves to federal troops live in the South and southerners trying to return this off to the way it was sending a message to freed black people or during the civil rights era you know, forties, fifties, and even the sixties. I’m going to kind of let us see if Dwight wants to jump in here as anything say about, about you know, the false narrative of the years of succession in the civil war.
Dwight Pitcaithley (13:19):
But you’re right. And that the monuments, most of the monuments came out at the end of reconstruction and during the early and mid-years of the 20th century, and it’s clear that many or most of them in the, certainly in the 20th century put up during the Jim Crow era were put up on government grounds, courthouse, lawns, statehouse grounds city parks. And they were put up with a very clear message to remind the black citizens in those, in those towns that the white man was very much in control. It was a very strong message. And some of them were perverted history, actually the new Orleans monument, which has now been taken down. I think Greg, you put up Mitch Landreiu’s book on, on dealing with the thus civil war, the so-called New Orleans riot monument, which honored the white people who kill large numbers of blacks because blacks wanted Louisiana and New Orleans to recognize the rights they had gained in the 14th and 15th amendments. So these monuments were there of the, of the civil war that is, they reflect the civil war being generals and so forth, but they were put up with a very specific purpose to perpetuate white supremacy more about later.
Greg Olson (14:52):
Yeah. You know, one of the interesting parts. So, I’m looking for examples to either from both of you have certain like Confederate monuments that we used to be up or not at the town squares and things like that. So as you go through this, think of any kind of Oh, you know examples right. Of this, I’d say, I appreciate the one on New Orleans. You know, one of the discussions we’ve had together as a group was, you know, what is it, when is it right to keep up monuments? Or, you know, at what time did we try to correct history by a plaque, or one of the things you talked about was, you know, do we have you know monument of Dred Scott as the same stature and quality facing eye to eye some of these other monuments to help tell that story better? Or do we take it down and lose all the thing? One of the quotes I had from you is there has to be bad guys. Right. And to tell that story and Wayne, I think you remember that we were talking with the white, so I guess that’s where I’m leading. Both of you is like do in Wayne. I understand your point of view is like, yes, it’s wrong, the history’s wrong. So what do we do moving forward with this? And then we can get into some more of these other discussions.
Dwight Pitcaithley (16:03):
Yeah. The Dred Scott issue as an interesting one. And it came to mind very early in this new move to remove Confederate related monuments, the city of Baltimore very early or earlier this year, I think, or late last year took down a statue of Roger B Taney, Roger Taney. It was in a public square. Roger B Taney was a noted jurist. He was Supreme court chief justice of the Supreme court for about 35 years, maybe appointed by Andrew Jackson didn’t retire. He didn’t retire at all. He died in 1864 during, during the civil war. And most famously is known for his Dred Scott decision.
Greg Olson (16:50):
It was, I mean, I just want to clarify that, so listeners wasn’t that around he didn’t consider African-American citizens, right? Is that where we’re going? That’s part of it. I just wanted to, and he was in Dred Scott unsuccessful, unsuccessfully sue right. And the Dred Scott versus Sanford case and making 57. So I’m just trying to bring some clarification to our listeners about this. Cause we throw a lot around a lot of names and dates, sorry. No, no, it’s good. I I’ve been doing a little bit of research, so I just want to clarify that about you know, interesting that this chief justice considered African Americans not to be American, not to be citizens. So not good. Basically.
Dwight Pitcaithley (17:43):
Dred Scott was a slave that was taken by his owner into a free state and a free for a period of about four years. They returned to Missouri. He sued for his freedom. It ended up in the Supreme court project, B Tony took it upon himself to write the decision. And in 1857, on March of 1857, he declared that a number of things. One of them was the dreads got was not free because he was not a citizen of the United States. And he was not a citizen because he was black. Not couldn’t be a citizen because it was a slave, but because he was a, a black and as he famously wrote in there it’s been the belief for some time that black people didn’t have rights that white people needed to honor. He went on to talk about slavery in the territories and at the end of it, a little-known part of it. He declared that property in a slave is expressly affirmed in the constitution. Meaning that, that slavery was protected in the United States constitution. It wasn’t but that was his interpretation. The South loved it. The Republicans hated it and largely ignored it. So that’s the, that’s the Dred Scott and Pawnee relationship. So Baltimore took down the Tawny statue and I thought it was sort of a reflective comment. Not that I’m a big fan of Roger B Tawny. I think he’s a fascinating guy. But they could have, they could have also put up a statute to Dred Scott on the same grounds, same size same sort of definition of statue facing each other. So they could have a conversation that we could have a conversation about their conversation. And that got me to thinking largely, and I think I’ve seen the city park where the statue used to be, and it’s quite large. You could also put next to Dred Scott, a statute to Frederick Douglas who was a Maryland native or to Harriet Tubman, a Maryland native to provide a counter narrative and challenge the dominant narrative that exists if you only have Roger Tawney standing alone in this city park.
Greg Olson (20:00)
All right. I appreciate that because we’re bringing things up to speed again, every month I try to bring our listeners and myself to make sure I’m somewhat historically correct. As they learned these characters Wayne, he looked very solemn, very serious sitting over there. I know there’s a counterpoint, we’ve loved this discussion pretty much you and I have had, we’ve had this discussion. He and the three of us there has to be bad guys, but we‘re trying to make history right. Versus, but we sometimes don’t feel like we should even have these monuments up at all. So I’d like to hear your thoughts on this or wherever you want to take it from there.
Wayne Hare (20:45):
Well, hey, I’m not very serious and somber, and I’m just giving you a hard time so that I look that way or whatever. What we’re really trying to do with this series and with this project is to promote you know, an accurate and true understanding of race in this country, right. And such a big part of that is the is a civil war and slavery and the white supremacy that and I don’t know if was either developed because of slavery or slavery was developed because of white supremacy. But so these given that so many of the people in this country really don’t understand, or, or don’t believe, and probably in many cases choose not to believe what that what the era was really about. And what’s a session the war was really about. It’s critical to bust into that narrative so that we can you know, if we’re going to, if we’re got to tear down this building, we need to tear down the foundation. And the foundation is a white supremacy that came along with slavery. So, know this podcast today is not about Roger B Taney, but I want to make it really clear that not only did he deny Dred Scott, the freedom that he, according to the constitution was allowed to have, but after he announced that decision and he could have just said, you know, here’s what we decided and had been done with it, but he felt the need to kind of take it to the next level. And here’s, here’s what he said. And then of course of his remarks, the chief justice took occasion to assert that from one of the century previous to the adopting of the declaration of independence, Negroes, where the slave or free had been regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit associate with the white race, either in social or political relations and so far inferior that they had no rights, which a white man was bound respect that consequentially such persons were not included as people in the general words of that instrument and could not in any respect be considered a citizen. You know that’s some, that’s some white supremacy right there. And so we have these monuments to we have monuments to white supremacy that people you know, rally around and, and often in a very violent manner. And, and in talking to me you’ll, you’ll hear the, we used the word organic a lot. I’m not so interested in just having a rope being thrown around a, a statue, and hadn’t been ganged off. It’s better still you know, if you’ve gotten rid of the statue have you changed anybody’s understanding of, of history in white supremacy? Have you done anything other than get rid of the statute? So civil conversations, you know, it was a project to educate readers and listeners and people to what the actual history of the, of the country is as it relates to slavery, race, white supremacy and all that. And it’s my belief, and certainly my hope that if, if we can instill that knowledge and education, instead of having to you know, fight people, you know, two sides come together with clubs and guns and, and a rope to yank down the statue instead of having to fight each other. It’s my hope and my belief that that process of removing this false history, changing this false narrative, which is, you know the statues are just one display, one physical, visible display of that whole false narrative that all that change could happen organically. And instead of being, you know, continue to be divided, you know, if you gang on a statue and that’s it, you know, you cut it off in a truck and Jack hammered apart you still have the divide that you started with. And in fact, it’s probably deeper, wider and worser than it was. And so it’s my, I want to see them come down for sure. I want to see them come down because that’s, what Americans want to do is, is we understand the history. It’s not, it’s not proper to have that up there. It’s a false history, it’s a damaging history. We understand that let’s get together and take it down.
Greg Olson (25:33):
You know, and we are seeing them come down on you. I don’t think we have we don’t, we want to talk a little bit about, I think in Montana, which was, you were telling me was the closest one we probably have located to us here in Colorado. Is that, am I correct on that? Because Pam Yeah, she so there, we had a monument that came down years ago, and I don’t know if you’d like to wait. I mean, the reason I think there was good reason for me, there was the reasons really great. And then as I was reading some of your writings, Wayne, on some of these things coming up, and maybe that’s a great example, I was really surprised that we had a monument in Montana, a Confederate monument.
Wayne Hare (26:20):
Yeah. Well, you wonder why I was too. Yeah. I don’t know if it’s the closest one to where I live in Western Colorado. There’s a, there’s six down in Arizona and I might be kind of midway between Phoenix and Helena. But I was like, huh, how did that happen? You know, I knew enough of history to know that Montana wasn’t a state during the civil war. And I knew something wasn’t it wasn’t a Northern or Southern state, just wasn’t a state. And so I was curious how the heck did we get a monument up there? And there’s an organization that existed from right after the war and it still exists in existence. So, park service decided when they wrestled with how to present you know, civil war battle sites and, and historical sites from that area that they wrestled with, how are they going to interpret that? And so, at the helm at that time was, was, was Dwight. And as I understand it from another mutual friend, he got together a contingent of leading historians and they pretty quickly, I think, decided that, you know, the war was about slavery and this presented that way. But the I think that he got some pushback on that from an organization, you know, that there’s this United daughters of the Confederacy. I think, I think there was some I’ve heard through the grapevine that he got some pushback on that. And so more than any other organization, the United daughters of the Confederacy a group of genteel Southern woman who simply want to keep the, the noble history of the South alive, because after all they were, they were, they were fighting to maintain their independence in the midst of a genteel benign happy from the organization called slavery, that’s their narrative. And they’ve done an amazingly good job of pushing that narrative. And so they didn’t particularly care. You know, if monuments went up on battlefield sites, what they cared about and cared about to this day is perpetuating that story, you know, that that’s become known as a lost cause. So how they ended up in Helena, I don’t really know. I do know that the territory of Montana leaned pro slavery kind of interesting, and there’s lots of you know, up in a Helena, it is a lot of place names, you know, Confederate Gulch and, and a union town. And just a lot of Jackson street or Jefferson street, I think it is, I guess they just audit, you know, the art of the Confederacy. So, they put up this monument in, in theory, according to the plaque to kind of honor them, you know, the, you know, the new, smooth over relationship and the sense of brotherhood between the North and the South, but it’s monument to the false history of the Confederacy. And they were interested in, and the UDC put up or financed or arrange to have put up monuments all over the country in places that had that kind of like Montana warrant part of the country at the time, or in several cases I can think of to honor the civil war dead or the Confederate dead in places that didn’t have any Confederate dead it just random places to put them up. So there’s nothing really unique about Helena that they wanted to a monument there other than it was just one more place to gather and tell her false story.
Greg Olson (30:34):
Yeah. So Dwight is this really around that Southern heritage that we’ve been talking about and things like that that’s going all the way up into Montana to help tell that story. Can you dive a little bit deeper in this with the United daughters of the Confederacy? I didn’t know much about them either.
Dwight Pitcaithley (30:52):
Yeah. They, they became very active. They were, they on their sons of Confederate veterans were established in the 1890s by sons and daughters of Confederate veterans to perpetuate the correct memory of the war. And that war was that it wasn’t about slavery. It was about other things like States’ rights or the constitution, or, or what have you. And they were very aggressive correcting textbooks, creating Confederate primers that you can still find there are echoes of that. And a lot of state’s rights literature and lost cause literature still, still going around. There’s a fairly new book out called titled. It wasn’t about slavery which was stunning giving my research, but this idea that we need to make it about something else is very, very powerful. And the UDC was at the center of that through the early years of the 20th century and continued, of course, they’re still in, still in operation and they were putting up monuments. They were in New Mexico, which was a territory during the first half of the civil war Mile 10, which ones from El Paso West to Tucson and Phoenix was, had markers up labeling at the Jefferson Davis highway. And in fact, in the thirties or forties, the UDC worked with Congress and created a route from Washington through all the Confederate States across the West to California and up to Oregon and Washington. And in New Mexico, there were four or five monuments at rest stops at federal highway rest declaring it, the Jefferson Davis highway and the markers were sponsored. They said by the UDC, and these were put up in the 1950s, as I recall, the state of New Mexico has now taken those down. You cannot find them, but it’s a Testament to the, the need on the part of the daughters. And partly the sons to remember their heroes of, of the civil war.
Wayne Hare (33:12):
Greg, I’m going comment about another monument because he gained a lot of press a few years ago. It’s called silent Sam, and it on the campus of the university of North Carolina. It was another one of hundreds of monuments that were arranged and financed from the United daughters.
Greg Olson (33:40):
What’s the name of it again, Wayne, sorry,
Wayne Hare (33:42):
Silent Sam. When the UDC financed and dedicated silence, Sam in 1913, which is 48 years after the end of the war, 26 years after reconstruction and right in the midst of Jim Crow and they recruited to dedicate it. They recruited Julian Carter. Julian was a prominent industrialist and ranking member of the KKK T to speak at the dedication. So Carter Corey remarks helps us understand the true nature of the Confederates statutes. First, he credited Confederate soldiers was saving, and this is a quote, the very life of the Anglo-sax and race in the South. Adding today as a consequence, the purest strain of the Anglo-Saxon is to be found in 13 Southern States that succeeded praise God. Then he went on to tell a personal story as he was dedicated to statute. I trust that may be pardoned for one illusion. Albeit is rather personal 100 yards from where we stand less than 90 days, perhaps after my return from AF after programmatic, my horse whipped a Negro wench until her skirts hung and shreds, because upon the street to this quiet village, she had publicly insulted and maligned, a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these university buildings where it was stationed a Garrison of a hundred federal soldiers. I performed this pleased and duty in the immediate presence of the entire Garrison and for 30 nights afterwards, slept with a double-barrel shotgun under my head yeah. History to history to States’ rights. It seemed like the guy who dedicated silent Sam didn’t think so.
Greg Olson (35:33):
Yeah. And that’s an interesting point. I was looking when I was thinking about monument and I looked up, it was toppled in August of 20 2018, but it, and I’m not sure it’s interesting where that is now, but I was reading a New York times article. And I’ll read this here. The university thought they found an answer. And this is from February 14th of this year. Answer November when it reached an agreement to get the statute to the North Carolina division of the sons of Confederate veterans and fund a two-and-a-half million trust to display it somewhere off campus, but rather than sell issue, the packet theory, professors, alumni, and students who accused university board of governors of entering into a backroom deal with the white nationalist group. So we’re still struggling. I mean, obviously we’re going to be struggling with this for a while. We know when I start to look up what is happening with these monuments now, cause they’re not, you know, Wayne you brought this up to me before, they’re not being taken off and like jackhammered and the pieces, you know, we’re actually, there, there’s a struggle, a deep struggle going on still. And I didn’t even know there was Confederate still happening. So I mean, thanks for bringing this to light. I don’t know. Dwight, do you know any more information about that, but
Dwight Pitcaithley (36:45):
That’s pretty much what I know about it, but I, I think that one of the things that I grapple with is, is trying to understand the context for these, for these monuments or particularly for the statues. And most of them put up by the UDC were put up in a, in a town square next to the courthouse next to the state house grounds on a city park. And they stood alone. They were the, they were not just the dominant narrative. They were the only narrative for that. And, and pronounced as, as, as we talked about where the message, the message was not, let’s remember the civil war, but let’s remember white supremacy the foundation for Southern succession. When you take them, remove them from that city square and you put them in a museum, let’s say, and many of them are small enough to be put in a museum. You’ve instantly changed the context. You’re creative. You put them from a political context into an educational context where you can theoretically have a conversation about what they are, what they meant, what, who put them up, why did they put them up? And that sort of thing to that effect, I would argue that all of the Confederate statues on battlefields, whether those battlefields are state run or run by the national park service are in museums, our national parks are in effect our national museums. And the point there is not to think about removing those monuments, but to think about how do we interpret them? What kind of context do we build around them? And I’m reminded of the Robert E. Lee statue of Gettysburg, which is fairly similar, I think to the one in Charlottesville, maybe larger, certainly on a big pedestal, but it’s at the Western end of what we call pickets charge. And it, and it’s not only does Gettysburg a ton of other monuments, mostly to United States, troops and generals and so forth. But Lee stands in one interpretation in the context that you can easily create to his arrogant folly of sending thousands of men to their deaths in that charge across a totally open field. We’re on the other side, awaited them United States, troops behind a Stonewall with many batteries of Canon. And it was of course a massive but as an immediate failure at, at that time.
Greg Olson (39:35):
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense to me. Any comment on that way?
Wayne Hare (39:40):
Greg Olson (39:42):
Well, no, that’s good. I mean, one thing you brought up a Dwight before was as an opportunity, do we create monument parks? Right? Like I think it was Sandy Livingstone’s, was it his book written in stone? You brought up to me that, how that story begins in Europe, where they tear down old statues and they’re creating monument parks and wait, I’m not saying that’s what we do. I’m just saying like, how do we make history not go away? So people can be like, they can go to a monument park to learn what’s happening. And I don’t know if we have anything like this in the US, or if they’re sticking these statutes somewhere. I’m just, I know that you brought that up to me to wait. And I found that
Dwight Pitcaithley (40:16):
Interesting. Yeah. Sandy Levinson in a book that I highly recommend. It’s 20 years old now, 22 years old. I think now Sandy is a constitutional law professor at the university of Texas. It’s a wonderful thin book about what do we do with these monuments? And his example was in, I think it was Poland where you have totalitarian States coming and going. Each president directs a monument to himself, a statute to himself. Then he’s overthrown. What do you do with the statue? And they decided to create a park outside of town and just move the statues out there. So you can drive around or walk around this park and look at these monuments to past presidents of, of this country. I don’t know that we have anything like that here, but, but the underlying sense there is you change the context. It’s no longer at the core of the government on the courthouse lawn to the statehouse lawn, but it is in a different context, Sandy Levinson uses they Confederate monument on the Austin, Texas state house grounds. As an example throughout a lot of this, I think it’s still standing. It’s, it’s an impressive monument as you might expect. And it seems to that you could move it somewhere. I don’t know quite where you would put it, but you can also going back to my Roger B Tawny example of put up counter narrative monuments. If you, for those of us who were old enough to watch the Watergate hearings, Barbara Jordan was a black Congressman from Texas. Very articulate, had a voice like gods who is much beloved was much beloved in Texas. I don’t know if she still is. You could easily put up a monument to her on, in juxtaposition to that monument or, and, or a monument to Milton Holland who was the only text and to receive the congressional medal of honor. Milton was a black man. The slave wasn’t very black. He was his, his father was also his owner. And sometime in the fifties, his father, a man named bird Holland took his Milton and two of his brothers. And the owner was also the father to those two boys, took them to Ohio, set them up on land got them in school. The war come a lot, came as, comes along. The constipation proclamation comes along Milton, and I think one other brother enlist in the U S CT, you know, as colored troops and outside Richmond in 1864, Milton acts in a heroic way and becomes a is given the congressional medal of honor. He survived for word doesn’t die until 1904. He’s buried in Arlington cemetery with the large stone, you could erect a counter narrative to the Confederate monument on those grounds by putting up a monument to Milton Holland. It’s part of Wayne’s educational process. Let’s think about black people and black men who served in the United States army during that time as a counter narrative to the Confederate monument, that’s on the Capitol grounds.
Greg Olson (43:32):
It’s certainly a lot to think about. And I mean, these things are not easy discussions and nothing stands. I mean, nothing happens quickly. Does it wane in these types of you know, there’s a lot of opportunities for change. And one of the things I know as we’re wrapping up here with a few minutes left, you know, one of your goals through all, this is the true history of success in succession. And I think we’ll continue to have this discussion, but what are your thoughts on that way? I mean, where can we look and where can we turn? Where can our listeners that are listening today and we’re have recordings of this, you know, where do we turn them to, to start learning more about this?
Wayne Hare (44:11):
I guess it would be like a politician to answer another question that you kind of brought up there. Greg, you just said, you know, none of this happens fast and so far it hasn’t happened fast. But when I was growing up, I used to hear all the time, well you know you know, African Americans or Negroes, or you’re trying to move too quickly, you know, give it time. And you know I’m just frustrated with that. I think it could happen fast. You know, there’s a lot of optimism about other support for the black lives matter movement. And I see that support, but I also see a lot of hard core dug in and even violent pushback. And you know, I just think that people need to come together and push back hard against that pushback and make this happen. And without going through another 401 years, you know, or 155 years, however you want to count it. So, you know, we’re working pretty hard just, just to, just to get that education out there in a way that people can you know, it doesn’t raise a hair in the back of the neck, you know, something that they can listen to. These are such hard emotional you know, dug in positions that people take as we are wrapping up and would say that there is there, there is, you know, there’s something like a hundred 1800 monuments on public land. I think there’s a few thousand more, but the best I can find is between 1500 and 1800 on public land. And I guess other than the fairly recent African American museum on the mall, I don’t know that there were, you know, really, I guess I can’t say that there weren’t any tributes to black history on public lands, but so not 1800. And the only one that really addresses racism in a really dramatic way is a, is a fairly recent museum in Birmingham that was created by Brian Stevenson and the equal justice initiative. And there they pay you know, dramatic tribute to the over 4,000 black Americans who were lynched between the end of the civil war in the middle of the middle of the 20th century. And I, I think it’s worth noting as we totally wrap up here that if you take a map of, these monuments that are, that are in theory honor, the loss cause, you know, and, and heritage not hate if you overlay that with a map of lynching’s. And if you overlay a map of monuments over a map of lynching’s, it looks like the same map. And I, I’ll just, I think I’ll wrap up with that, Greg, but you know.
Greg Olson (47:20):
That’d be an interesting visual on that. We’ll have to explore more to show that as information Hey, Dwight, any last closing, I really appreciate your knowledge on the show. Really helps me personally, and I know a lot of listeners, but any closing thoughts.
Dwight Pitcaithley (47:35):
Well, it’s a, it’s a great opportunity and I thank you for the invitation, both you and Wayne. It seems to me that that much of the conversation we have about this revolves around the meaning of the Confederacy. What was the Confederacy? Why did the South succeed? And I think the more we can understand that, and it’s not clouded, it’s very clear again, there’s these 9,000 published pages documenting why the South succeeded. If we understood more clearly that the South really didn’t succeed to protect slavery and to protect white supremacy, it gives a dimension to our conversation. And that allows us to move from A to B instead of just yelling at each other of, of whether it’s heritage or hate and, and, and about the monument. So it’s really about understanding what the word was about what the Confederacy was all about and what did those men think they were doing when they succeeded. And I would urge people at a minimum to look at the four declarations of succession that the succession conventions in South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas produced, particularly the Texas one to give you an understanding that they firmly believe that what they were doing were leaving the United States so that they could adequately protect slavery and white supremacy.
Greg Olson (49:00):
All right, well this has been a really great show. Our next one will be, I believe October 20th, third, Tuesday of the month. You know, unless Mike has a he’s out there helping fighting fires, he’s doing a lot of different things out there. So we do appreciate that. I appreciate both of you gentlemen taking time today also post all this content up on our page for everybody to read. We’ll have the White’s book up there a little plug there Dwight to buy book and thank you very much for all of you. So with that, we’re going to close out and you can hang on a moment here. Thank you.