The Fog Of History: The Jacksonian Straw Man

Dr. A and I had dinner last Friday night at the house of some old friends. Actually, our hosts were the parents of some friends who have become our friends over the years as well. These are white folks in their 80’s and I *never* talk politics with them. The good news is that they’re not the sort of people who sit around and watch Fox News all-day everyday. I know a few people like that and try to avoid them.

Our hostess asked me what I thought about the whole Confederate monuments controversy. I follow my usual policy with people I’d rather not go there with: I briefly express my real opinion and immediately try to change the subject. I prefer not to bite the hand that’s feeding me, especially when there’s brisket involved. Unfortunately, she asked a follow-up question prefaced with her opinion: “I hear Mitch wants to tear down the Jackson statute and change the name of the Square. What do you think of that?”

The Mitch in question is, of course, Mayor Landrieu and he’s never addressed Jackson Square nor is he likely to. He’s only discussed Confederate monuments erected in support of white supremacy and the so-called lost cause., which are one and the same. The Jackson Square meme is being put out there as a straw man by the “don’t erase our history and heitage” crowd. What does one do with a straw man? You knock it over or set it ablaze. I don’t believe in playing with matches so I’ll try to defog history without burning down the house. In any event, it’s too hot for striking matches. To my friends’ mom I offered a terse comment about Lee having nothing to do with New Orleans and Jackson being the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. I politely changed the subject. This time it worked.

More details after the break and this video:

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