I find it interesting- but sad- that a statue of the icon of 20th Century Virginia Democrat politics, Harry Byrd, Sr., is now deemed necessary to require an "interpretive plaque" as if modern Virginians and American tourists (much less the Illegal Alien population rapidly metastasizing across Virginia) are too dumb to perform their own independent research of Harry Byrd, Sr. when they view his statue- and thus must be told by someone else via "interpretive plaque" what to think about the legacy of Harry Byrd, Sr. (or Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, etc.) in our current time. I am in favor of leaving historic statues in place as the historic relics they are- each capable on their own original merit of providing education and "teachable moments" as stand-alone artistry and commemoration (and I'm not even a Lifelong Virginia Democrat).
Dr. Donald Livingston ( http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org
) recently noted the Culture War rages on. And what a war! There seems to be a new outrage almost every day. Here is a link to "Make it Right," a New York organization dedicated to hunting down and removing all Confederate monuments from public space- their symbol is an image of the statue of Robert E. Lee taken down by a crane in New Orleans:
This effort at ethnic and cultural cleansing of the American South has received little resistance by Southern elites. Instead of using these events as a teaching moment (as President Eisenhower did in 1960 when he was asked to remove a portrait of Robert E. Lee from the Oval Office- his outstanding response can be read here: https://www.the-american-catholic.com/2017/06/15/eisenhower-on-lee/
), they usually are morally disarmed and reduced to silence or use the event to signal their virtue in opposing "white supremacy" and asking for "healing" but not truth, oblivious to the fact that the North was not willing to put forth a morally responsible plan of emancipation and was itself white supremacist to the core. The attacks on Confederate monuments springs from the ideology of political correctness and multiculturalism that appeared in the late 1960s. This ideology is not peculiar in America. It is global and is forcing not only Southerners, but the British, French, Germans, and other historic peoples of Europe (as well as Americans generally) to as the unsettling question, "Who are we?" In a healthy society, one knows one's identity, not by thinking about it philosophically, but by simply living in a community with others. We don't, however, live in normal times. So we must address with the question, "Who are we?" President Jimmy Carter would sometimes say in speeches (and not only to Southerners) that he was "proud to be an American, but prouder still to be a Southerner." What did he mean by that? Dr. Livingston founded the Abbeville Institute to explore that question and to explain and defend the permanent things in the Southern tradition and its long contested relation to an America that is now coming apart. A poll conducted by Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service found that 67 percent of Americans believe we are two-thirds of the way to a civil war. I pray that isn't true; however whether true or not, Dr. Livingston notes it is imperative the Abbeville Institute provide an on-line repository and public education in what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition (something no longer done in higher or secondary education) and especially to reach our younger Americans. They are the seed corn of the future.