Here is an unexpected view of "confederate statues" broadcast earlier today on NPR's "Here And Now."
Cherokee Nation Debates Its Confederate Statue
WBUR's discussion Cherokee Confederate Statue focuses the need to establish "statue gardens" in museums and cemeteries where "the meaning" of statues can be contextualized with full input from "both sides."
At the get-go, I encourage people to display any-and-all revered symbols, even those that espouse hatred, on their own private property. (My Dad was fond of citing a quotation attributed to Voltaire: "I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.")
Although statues that inflame people's "confederate sentiments" may "require" removal to statue gardens, imagine how our historical "conversation" would be transformed if every American statue (and other historic memorials) were labeled with a web address so that interested parties (using cellphone or computer) would be able to post their view of what a given statue/memorial represents historically, emotionally, culturally and in any other way contributors deem important.
Here are some "nuts and bolts" of how "popular history" would work.
Engraved pedestal information will be limited to "name and date."
All those posting a view or explanation about a historic monument will identify themselves as "right," "left" or "center" to enable the creation of three "directories" that can orient citizens' database search.
Using cellphones or computers, individuals can vote for the online "view or explanation" that appeals to them most.
Every "monument webpage" will display a running tally of how many votes each "view" has received, and all posts will be listed in order of "voter popularity".
The Top Ten "view/explanations" in each category - "left, right, center" - will be arranged on the "bottomless" webpage in three columns corresponding to the author's self-described political oriention.
Notably, it will be possible to search each column by keyword.
Although many details can only be worked out over time, people may vote once (a year?) from any given device.
All posts containing vulgarity will be deleted, or perhaps relocated in a NSFW "bin."
It is not necessary for participants to identify themselves although they are welcome to list their names.
Finally, I would add a fourth category-column dedicated to professional historians who teach (or previously taught) history at a legally-established college or university.
Creation of this fourth category will provoke heated discussion since many citizens believe that "fake news" has so polluted "the mainstream press" and "the halls of Academia" that professional historians do not deserve a separate category.
Although we human beings are "subjects" who, to some extent, view "objects" subjectively, it is essential that we pay special attention to professional historians just as we pay special attention to academically-trained physicians, nurses engineers and architects.
As Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's "The Vietnam War" demonstrates, it is possible through long study of "opposing views" to marshal data, facts and information so that "the distilled view" of long, even-handed study is more meaningful and more truthful than "making things up" or pretending that "my opinion is just as good as your knowledge."
NPR: Ken Burns And Lynn Novick Discuss "The Vietnam War"
Here, in these "United" States, we are undergoing a linchpin epistemological crisis.
We find ourselves in dire straits because too many Americans believe that "alternative facts," "out-of-the-blue opinions," and "whole-cloth fabrication" are as meaningful as views developed through sustained application of intellectual rigor.
If anti-intellectualism prevails -- and it must be noted that contempt for the so-called "intellectual elites" got the upper hand in last November's election -- "the center will not hold and things will fall apart."
I should have been aware from the moment Trump appointed Steve Bannon as "Chief White House Strategist" that "the center not holding and things falling apart" was a central aspiration of the Trump administration, guided by the arrogant, indeed hubristic, belief that fundamental social and political change can only be worked when the existing order is destroyed.
In that destruction -- and in that destruction alone -- do Bannon and Trump see any real possibility of reversing the inexorable march of "the liberal world order," thus enabling re-construction of something "new" from the exploded materials of the putrescently decadent "old."
To this deliberately destructive end, even chaos is considered a blessing.
Facebook Exchange With A Friend About The Planned Destructiveness Of Trump's Administration
Trump's Master Plan
It's Not That The Assholes Are Uninterested In Truth.
They Are Hostile To Truth.