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The Contender
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Should Confederate Monuments stay up?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,071 times Debate No: 107326
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Today I will be arguing that confederate monuments should stay up. The people who want them taken down are confusing, supporting what something stands for and letting it stay due to its historical value. By leaving them up we are not supporting the South"s position at that time, but acknowledging what happened. A quote by President George W. Bush states, "A great nation does not hide its history, it faces its flaws and corrects them." Recently, the mayor of New York City announced the Christopher Columbus statue would remain standing, but they are adding new plaques explaining the true history. The mayor chose instead of taking the statue down to change the way it was presented to the public, and this could be done with the confederate monuments. It is not the statues that cause racial prejudice, but the cultural bias that is harbored inside of people. Many of the statues that depict people that did much more than fight in the Civil War. For example Robert E. Lee, besides being a Confederate General, was a decorated War hero and dedicated his post- Civil War life to helping heal the bond between the North and South. If we choose to take down these statues what criteria would we establish? Would we take down Thomas Jefferson"s statute because he condoned slavery and thus ignoring the contributions he gave to this country by writing the declaration of independence? Just because we honor someone"s good traits doesn't mean we are ignoring or condoning their bad traits.


Hi there.

Just to clarify, I don't disagree that the monuments hold historical value. Where I do disagree though, is that they shouldn't be left standing in front of court houses, or in places where monuments are usually celebrated. Why? Simple. The North won, the South lost. We shouldn't glorify traitors to the union. It's always curious to me when people on the right bash "liberal snowflakes" for handing out participation trophies. You know what these monuments and statues are? The ultimate participation trophies.

Many of these statues were erected during the Civil Rights era. This means the 1960's. Why would anyone want to erect confederate statues 100 years after the civil war? Not for historical value. My thoughts on his are simple. Stick them in museums. You care so much about history? That's the best place to put them.
Debate Round No. 1


The time period monuments are made in shows a lot about the feelings and views of the time. Yes, the views of the time were wrong, these statues give insight to what was going on at the time. 67% of whites, 65% of Latinos, and 44% of black people want the monuments to stay up. Why go through the trouble of taking them down or moving them when a majority of people just don't care? We don't have to remove or relocate these symbols but rather redefine what they mean. A statue of a man on a horse is just that. The important part is what it represents and the lessons which are learned from it. So, if a monument honors a confederate general, we could stop using it as an honor and instead regard it as a reminder of a tragedy that we never want to repeat.

On to your point about participation trophies. The statues aren't the ultimate participation trophies, the history books are. After the Civil War most of books on it came from the South and the effects of this can still be seen today. On any standardized testing on the Civil War, when asked what caused the Civil War the correct answer to put is States Rights. While documents from when the South seceded clearly show Slavery was the main cause of the war.


I'm not sure what the statistics are on who wants them to stay up or why, but I don't think there's been any polling in 2018. I think of it this way. In Germany for example, you go to court, do you think there's a statue of Hitler or any Nazi's outside before you enter? No. I'm not equating the south with Nazis, but I do equate losers with losers.

Keeping a statue of known segregationists in front of a court house will ultimately show some sort of bias in the head of a black man walking into that court to fight his case.

The statues are indeed participation trophies. Statues are usually made to honor and celebrate someone. We don't put up statues of genocidal maniacs to show how bad they are. We put up the statues of their victims.

"Among other things, "The Truths of History" asserts that Abraham Lincoln was a mediocre intellect, that the South"s interest in expanding slavery to Western states was its benevolent desire to acquire territory for the slaves it planned to free, and that the Ku Klux Klan was a peaceful group whose only goal was maintaining public order."

The south did try to re-write history. The textbooks in the south still celebrate confederates as the victims of northern aggression.

The "states rights" argument is clearly misleading. States rights to do what? To keep and expand slavery. The war was fought because the south wanted to secede and continue the practice of slavery. I don't think we can disagree with that. I don't think how you can say that the correct answer to put is "states rights" unless you were educated in a southern school. States rights or slavery could be the correct answer. As the war was mainly fought because the south argued for "states rights to continue and expand slavery". The two are not separate.
Debate Round No. 2


The standardized testing argument was a worded a bit weird so: In any standardized test in the US from northern states like New York and southern ones, you will lose points by on the multiple choice question, "What was the main cause of the Civil War?" for circling "Slavery" but if you choose "States Rights" it is the 'correct answer.' Documents clearly show this not to be the case including the letter of secession from South Carolina.

Many of the statues put up are about people who did so much more than fight in the Civil War, Robert E. Lee was a decorated war veteran and dedicated his post-Civil War life to helping heal the country. Robert E. Lee was originally asked to be the general of the Union army, but refused not because he believed strongly in slavery but, he couldn't fight against his home, Virginia. Many of the Confederates were good people, but miss lead. They were raised with slavery and were fighting for what they thought was right.

Instead of removing or moving them it would be more beneficial to the public to change the way they were presented. We don't have to honor what they did wrong, but let their mistakes be known so it doesn't happen again. A quote by George Santayana "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." These statues only have the meaning we give them as a society and by changing that meaning, it allows us to remember the trauma that happened and keep us from repeating it.

(Sorry if this was a bit short, I'm swamped with school work right now. It was fun debating with you!)


To your first point, I couldn't find anything online so I would certainly be skeptical about that. I'd expect in many northern states if not most the answer would be "slavery", and in many southern states it would be "civil war". If we do nuance you can argue either way since it was about states rights to own slaves.

I think it's really important to understand when most statues were put up so here's a link.

Robert E. Lee also disagrees with you about the monuments.

"Lee opposed the construction of public memorials to Confederate rebellion on the grounds that they would prevent the healing of wounds inflicted during the war.' - Wikipedia.

He foresaw that this issue would continue to divide the nation, as it still does today. It's 2018 and we have way more pressing issues that need to be fixed.

My strongest argument against keeping these monuments in public would be that we should follow what Germany did after World War 2. There's no statues of Hitler in plain sight. Everybody remembers the history. To say that having statues of those who fought against us and our values in plain sight is the only way of "remembering history" is simply invalid. We should have more education in our schools. We should have open discussions. Anyone that looks at any statue without context goes to the default position of "oh, a statue, this person must have done something good to deserve a statue!"

I worry that our country does not have enough education about other countries and wars in different lands. WWII was a massive turning point in civilization. Sadly, 1/3 of our country denies basic facts and reality. This minority is willing to follow an authoritarian leader which we never had in this country. I believe this is because our nation does not do enough to educate us on world history. We barely touched on the rise of authoritarianism in High School. Today history is repeating itself, lead by massive gas lighting and propaganda campaigns.

I hope I gave you some insight, and I hope you enjoy school! I had fun as well, good day!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheCelloGuy 2 years ago
Putting up Confederate monuments in public places in no way it treason. Where did freedom of speech go anyway? Either way, putting up these monuments doesn't automatically imply that you stand for everything they supported, or that you want to cause rebellion either. I honor those monuments just as much because many of the men and women of the Confederate side were simply people that fought for rights they believed to be constitutional - which many of them were. Though imperfect they might have been, many were likely good people, even if we're still caught up in the trauma of slavery. That's just how these guys were taught. Many union soldiers were pro-slavery as well. Whatever the case, as individuals that fought for what they believed to be right, Confederates should be honored just as much in the history of the reformation of the United States.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leaning 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro arguments for remembering history and the individual men. Con arguments they can be remembered in museums rather than in public as tributes to those who lost the war. I think that both arguments were almost equal, with maybe slight edge to Con, but I feel the point of sources is enough to show a better argument.

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