Mayor Slay: It’s Time to Rethink Confederate Monument in Forest Park

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What Mayor Slay should do with the monument

The most fitting new home for the monument would be to shove it as far up Mayor Slay's backside as it will fit.

Kevin more than 1 year ago

Mayor Slay Is an Historical Ignoramus Who Ought To Get Some Sense.

Ladies and gentlemen, as many of you all know the Confederate Memorial has been desecrated within the past week. A prominent incident about three miles from the monument occurred on Friday, May 10, 1861: the Camp Jackson Affair. You see, folks, President Lincoln's troops killed at least two dozen civilians that day, some of whom were women and children; this prompted many Missouri boys to serve in the Confederate Army. And now these lousy, dishonorable people are talking about removing the monument and renaming the street on which it is located, Confederate Drive. Their actions are beyond shameful; they are historically ignorant and morally criminal. http://www.nps.gov/jeff/learn/historyculture/upload/camp_jackson.pdf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Jackson_Affair "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." -- Abraham Lincoln, Saturday, September 18, 1858, Charleston, Illinois, fourth debate with Stephen A. Douglas "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." -- President Abraham Lincoln, Friday, August 22, 1862 "Things had gone on from bad to worse, until I felt that we had reached the end of our rope on the plan of operations we had been pursuing; that we had about played our last card, and must change our tactics, or lose the game! I now determined upon the adoption of the emancipation policy...." -- President Abraham Lincoln

Brian Cook more than 1 year ago

Offended? Don't visit the memorial!

The Declaration of Independence states:
"...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness"

We honour the Founding Fathers of the United States as Patriots. However, in all actuality, they (like the Southern States) were Traitors to their established form of government.

As an educated individual, I feel removal of this memorial would be a direct violation of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" - a noble concept which both the North and South Bravely fought to defend!

Did you know: Forest Park was dedicated on June 24, 1876 AND within the park, a statue of Edward Bates (Attorney General under President Abraham Lincoln) was also dedicated?
Did you know: "Edward Bates was a slave owner"?
Did you know: "Bates disagreed with Lincoln on emancipation and the recruitment of blacks into the Union Army." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bates)

Using the same logic as below comments: Even if the Confederate monument is removed, you still visiting a park which romanticizes the idea of slavery and the Great Emancipation.

Chris C. (RN, BSN / EMTP AAS) more than 1 year ago

Tear it down. Or at least sand off that wretched inscription.

Some of the people commenting here are just silly. I abhor the idea that the men who died fighting for the Confederacy should be thought of as brave, patriotic or anything other than clinging to slavery and racism. If you want to honor your heritage of family members who were Confederate soldiers, do it in your own home. If want to remember history, read a book. The rest of us can't stand the idea that our beloved Forest Park is home to a monument that truly does romanticize the motives of the Confederacy. It is an embarrassment. We are meant to learn from history, not to honor it as if nothing was wrong. With racism still very much alive today, we don't need to honor it's role in our past.

Kyle G. more than 1 year ago

your comment

If you don't like it, then don't visit it. Let those of us who want to honor the bravery of the young soldiers to defend their homes, schools and churches, enjoy it. Many of the soldiers did not have slaves. And, you ought to read history closer to realize that blacks had slaves too. Read about Nicolas Augustin Metoyer of Louisiana whose family at one time had over 200 slaves. You are trying to create a holocaust of the Confederacy.

Mary more than 1 year ago

The right move

I think it is unsettling that anyone considers an economic system and "culture" that was built up from and supported by stealing people from their home country and forcing them into slavery would, in this day and age, be so strongely supportive of wanting to honor it. In Germany, they have statues and memorials for WWII and the Holocaust and the lives that were lost, on both sides of the coin...to learn from their mistakes. Not honor or celebrate them. To remember not to do it again and to heal the country. I think this is exactly what Mayor Slay is proposing here. And you are all missing that huge distinction. Wake up, the Civil War and slavery were horrendous legacies that we must accept as the horrors they were and how legacies from history still exist today.

KO more than 1 year ago

Removing Confederate Monument

"“Their respective causes, like those of [Union Gen. Ulysses S.]Grant and Lee, were as irreconcilable and antagonistic as freedom and bondage, as a Declaration of Independence founded on human liberty and a Confederacy whose boasted cornerstone was human slavery,” Bailey wrote."

Lets not get too damn high and might here with the rhetoric. Remember too the fact that the Constitution of the United States, basking in the light of the recently penned Declaration of Independence, said NOTHING about the issue of freedom for the black man...and THIS was a legally binding document as opposed to the Declaration which was...simply a declaration.

Those articles of the Constitution that dealt with slavery were passed upon in a cowardly way-letting another generation pay the price for their lack of moral leadership and political cowardice. 650,000 men paid the price some 78 years later to correct the flawed document and wash away the sin of that era.

What Mayor Slay wants today is NOT truth, rather political cover. He is no better than those framers of the Constitution that refused to tackle the festering problem of the day in 1787, how to extract free labor from another man, all the while professing your purity of the freedom and dignity of man.

The REAL point of these monuments is NOT to remember the political cause of the day, rather, to remember the individual sacrifice of the soldier. It seems that those with a political axe to grind get this one fact confused. Darrow...for the Prosecution

Larry D. Owens more than 1 year ago

Civil History

History is history. We cannot prevent the past. There is no limit to the depths politicians will stoop to buy votes. This monument has been there a century without issue. It is not offensive as it displays no Dixie flag. Why isn't displaying a German, Japanese, or Italian flag offensive or any flag of our prior enemies? The monument displays no uniforms, no grotesque war images, nor does it suggest any racial bias. In fact, it projects how far we have come since then. Lives are better today because of the changes brought about by the Civil War. It was 150 years ago. We were a slave state. Should we unearth the Confederate soldiers from Jefferson Barracks Cemetary? How far do we carry this aberration? Whatever happened to common sense? Why not govern correctly. Find a place for the homeless who you have thrown all over downtown. Reduce crime. Create jobs. Build a stadium. Do what government is supposed to do. Leave history alone. Even you can't change that.

Dan Rathgeber more than 2 years ago

Civil History

Very well said Sir.

more than 1 year ago

Political Correctness = Social Marxism

This monument was put in scared trust for perpetuity. Weak kneed, no nuts politicians should understand our constitution and our rights to honor our heritage and not partake in re-writing history to appease the liberal Marxists who strive to destroy out heritage and culture.

Tim Caldwell more than 2 years ago

Remove National Monuments too?

With regard to the Confederate Monument at Forest Park - should we also take down the statue of Thomas Jefferson that is in front of the Missouri State Capitol Bldg? How about the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument at Washington D.C. Washington and Jefferson were slave holders as well. Lincoln's wife's family (Mary Todd Lincoln) were slave holders, I guess the Lincoln memorial should be removed? Good Grief.

D. more than 2 years ago

Misguided Mayor

Is that your to have harmony and diversity in St. Louis it must censor history and quelch free speech? Is your next project to eliminate the arch because Native Americans object to western expansion?

Lunelle Siegel more than 2 years ago

Your Judgement Error, Mr. Mayor

Today there is an ignorant mindset to change history again, and again. Once you delete the history that you don't agree with, future books that are supposed to speak of truth are changed, the way children are taught changes, and with that, degrees of history are permanently omitted. This is what Hitler did when he burned the books. The new Germany was supposed to be completely recreated. You are trying to bury something that will not be forgotten by those that have ancestral links to this part of American history from either side of the war. So if you tear down this monument, what will it get you?...another term in office, more money, peace with the entire public? Then, I suppose, you will remove all street signs that reflect something of our war? You are mistaken; surly mistaken. Your judgement will be a grave error. Omitting any part of our true American history is like the omission of the genocide of the Armenians and the Jews. Leave it all alone.

Chris more than 2 years ago

mayor slay

Mayor slay..don't you think you have more challenging issues at stake? Your city's parking fines are still a fiasco as they were several years ago. What about fawning for finances for the Honduras children..why didn't or why aren't you thinking of your own City's children. They are the lost children... and you think you really have time to debate a non-debatable issue. Leave history alone..my goodness use your God given common sense and not the 'special interest ' group pre-programed sense...

Susan Hill more than 2 years ago

The Confederate Monument

On an obscure side lane, of a city park, is a monument depicting a young man leaving for a war that would change the character of the nation and the state. His womenfolk try to keep him from leaving; but however mistaken his allegiance and courage, he goes. The monument shows the futility of war, not the glorification of it. As lost causes everywhere, it is for our education and edification. Leave it alone.

N. Hollingsworth more than 2 years ago

Real history or Imagined?

Do so little of the population know the true facts of the War? Do they not know that Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, only wrote his Proclamation in order to be re-elected and not for the altruistic cause that is attributed to him today? So true is it that history is written by the victors.......

Bert Brown more than 2 years ago

History contrived...

You are spot on. There have been 150 years of misinformation foisted upon the young minds of this country such that they grow up believing Lincoln was a hero, rather than the monster he actually was. His war killed nearly 6% of the entire population of the country at that time. It is staggering.

Tim Caton more than 2 years ago

Rethink Confedersate Monument

Everyone is entitled to their heritage and their right to honour that heritage! The forebearers in Saint Louis saw fit to remember and honour those that fought bravely against northern invaders that came to usurp the rights of citizens and state sovereignty. To "rethink" their motives in honouring Confederate heritage is to discard yor own! DO NOT rethink or remove any Confederte monuments! Instead, learn true history and understand the tre motives of those you are seeking to deny the right to honour their heritage!

John Stones more than 2 years ago

ISIS and Mayor Slay

What is the difference between what Mayor Slay is trying to do in St Louis and what ISIS is doing in Mosul by destroying 3,000 year old monuments? War memorials are made of stone and metal to commemorate forever the memories that the people at the time honored. These were entrusted to governments to maintain and honor those memories, not remove like ISIS is doing. In addition, renaming the road to "liberty' or "justice" - what justice to these men? You have a sacred duty to preserve this monument or you create the precedence for removing all our war monuments when someone else demonizes any other demographic when they wish to do so for short term political gains. Shame!

Michael Landree more than 2 years ago

Civil War Memorial

My thoughts exactly!

commonsensewoman more than 2 years ago

Taliban and ISIS

Would certainly approve. NO. This nonsense must stop.

Steve more than 2 years ago

Monument

This is more of the ridiculous PC in the world today. I would not live within 50 miles of St Louis since Ferguson happened. This statue represents a large percentage of the ancestors of the State of Missouri and the USA.

Harold more than 2 years ago

Confederate Monument

Mr. Slay, What shall we do next? Shall we dig up the graves of all Southern Soldiers and move them to a more suitable place? Ridiculous! These men fought and died and need to be remembered.

Mary Lusk more than 2 years ago

Confederate Monument

this is taking Political Correctness to far . it is offensive to all descendants of that terrible war . our family fought on both sides of the conflict . my Grandfather, Grandson of a Union solder married a girl whose family were Confederate . their families got along , we need to learn to do the same .

jeff bishop more than 2 years ago

monument

Mr. Slay, it was actions like you are perposing, concerning the Confederate Monument, that I couldn't take your little dictatorship anymore, took my money, and LEFT your little fiefdom. Sir, you remind me of a little Napoleon, or, more recent dictater, Castro. Just who the hell do you think you are? That monument isn't yours, sir, its property of the citizens of St. Louis. Don't you have bigger fish to fry, instead of interfering with Missouri history? Leave it alone, its not bothering ANYONE. If you think it offends black citizens, how wrong you are. Are you aware that over 30,000 black men served under arms, in the Confederate Army? Also, they received the SAME wages as the white troops, surprised? Close to 100,000 black men served in other capacities, cooks, teamsters, ect. So, get the hell off your know it all, p.c. high horse, and realize FACTS, sir. If this monument is moved, it would do a great dis-service, to the memory of these patritoc, men, who where our State brothers. Thank You, William Napier

William Napier more than 2 years ago

Lincoln's Statement and Presidential Order Ignored

At the end of the War in 1865, President Lincoln issued a Presidential order that the Confederate Stars and Bars shall be respected just as the Don't Tread On Me Flag, or the Bennington Flag, The Flag of Texas with one single star, and said that this flag is an American Flag and shall remain so and flown with rememberance. I believe that this Memorial and all the Confederate Memorials are American Memorials to a testament of American History. No matter how bad or good. What next? The dis entering of 150 Confederate Graves in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetary? Isn't it bad enough that Governor Holden when he was in office ignored Lincoln's Presidential Order and had the Confederate Flags flown at Fort Davidson and also the Confederate Cemetary at Lexington Missouri removed and replaced with the POW MIA flag. How disgusting. Caving into this era of Political Correctness....well I maintain...IT'S NOT CORRECT AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.

Ted Guarino more than 2 years ago

Confederate Monument

Really? This is absurd. If it is to be moved, both monuments should be moved. Also, if the wording is changed regarding slavery - will the wording include the FACT that U.S. Grant's family owned and held slaves until 1865??? What you say?... U.S. Grant was a Union General, but owned slaves? Yes indeed, and there were slaves held in the North until after the War. History is important, ALL of history, not just the parts we want to believe.

D. more than 2 years ago

Confederate memorial

Perhaps both the Confederate AND the Union memorials could be removed and re-installed at the downtown Soldiers Memorial Museum.

Robert E Lipscomb more than 2 years ago

Our History

Love it or hate it, it's still Our History. If the aim here is to remove and sanitize everything that was bad or offensive to some. Then we will only be doing a disservice to ourselves and our future generations. Unless you take into account ALL sides that make up Our History and why events unfolded the way they did and under what context, then you might as well throw ALL honesty and accuracy out the window!

Michael more than 2 years ago

Stupidity and PC behavior

It is time for everyone to demand these 'temporary' officials stop destroying the history of this country. Keep the monument where it is. Maybe Mr. Slay could take the time to learn the actual history and save his delicate feelings from being hurt.

Debbie Debbie more than 2 years ago

Honor

by removing the monument, they show they don't care about honoring and past soldiers. It's strictly political and we need to stop letting things like this happen.
Next, they are going to want to rename the park. Forest Park. Guess who it's names after :-)

mark more than 2 years ago

Will Martin Luther King be removed

In 100 years from now will history again be revised to remove him. Honoring the fallen is necessary to remind the future of the past. It is not a new story, dictators have been doing it for centuries; China and Russia. Look at what is being done by radical Islamist with the destruction now taking place all over the Middle East. To me Mayor Francis Slay is living in the moment of his personal political ambition and pandering to special interest agenda. What our nation needs now, and possibly more than any other time in our history are leaders with moral courage. I do not often quote Abraham Lincoln, as I feel he was not the great emancipator other revisionist has written of. In my opinion his political ambitions guided his actions. This said, his words of, "A house divided cannot stand", are true. History may well record those in the pursuit of this effort, in no small way, led our country into another Civil War. www.paperbullets.us

Steve Trubilla more than 2 years ago

Memorial.

First of all, the people who died that are represented by this monument were just as honorable in their endeavor as the opposition. I would remind mr mayor that slavery was not the main catalyst but rather states rights. Sound familiar today? Secondly the people represented in the memorial were just as fervent in their endeavors as the people in blue were and they wound up just at dead. Slay may be the ultimate proof that maybe the wrong side "won" the War of Northern Aggression. Maybe Mr. Slay can call in the Taliban and they could help him destroy historical monuments that are not of his liking.

Owen McNamee more than 2 years ago

Keep the Monument where it is.

What needs to be re-located is the corrupt Democrat party that's controlled St. Louis since 1948.

Angus Scott more than 2 years ago

Agendas and Social Engineering

Our Revolutionary forefathers gave their lives to throw off the tyranny of misguided miscreants who chose power, greed and despotism over liberty and the God-given right of self-determination. To compare Southern secession with this could not possibly be more apt!! History PROVES that at best, 15% of all Confederate soldiers in the field came from homes owning slaves. If the War was fought over slavery, then for what were the other 85% fighting??!! States rights and the same God-given right of self-determination, free from the control of a strangling central government, addicted to power and the delusion that it knows better how to run our lives. If History is left alone and not molested by the agendas of man, then TRUTH will surface on her pool of reality and from that truth, we might learn the lessons already learned by our Revolutionary ancestors. Enough is enough! St.Louis is awash in corruption, crime and hedonism and the mayor worries about a statue??!! Have the courage to tackle the real issues threatening the safety of the city and just maybe we might learn the true convictions behind that monument AND our revolutionary forefathers. Good grief!!

Mark Stuart more than 2 years ago

Keep the Monument

Let's not pretend that this was a clear cut right versus wrong conflict. Future generations need to know that the country was fiercely divided and that no state or commonwealth was immune to conflict between families, neighbors and politicians.

Gary McMillin more than 2 years ago

Context

It would be great if this memorial could be situated in a context that represented the agony for Missouri which was the civil war. The context could be developed around the memorial or it could be moved to a new location where the civil war is examined in a range of exhibits/memorials/etc. I agree that the road should be renamed.

R. Jones more than 2 years ago

Mayor Slay Needs an Education!

The state of Missouri was divided during the civil war. Sympathy for both the North and South was rampant. The state held over 114,000 slaves. Over 1,000 battles and skirmishes occurred on Missouri soil. Blood was spilled on both sides in very violent clashes. The memorial you want to remove is to honor the dead and NOT to embellish the Confederacy or its principles. Every citizen of our state and tourists from around the world who visits Forest Park might see the memorial and it will educate them a little about what was won here. Hiding history is a pathetic stand for any politician to take. With the City of St. Louis becoming a battlefield of its own each day try using your resources to stop the violence and leave historical memorials to those who appreciate and understand their meaning.

StephenB more than 2 years ago

An Exercise In Tolerance

Respect the fact that the tragedy of the turmoil was experienced by both sides and leave the memorial where it is. If nothing else, consider it an exercise in tolerance, of which this city is sorely in need. Finally, the fact that resources are even being considered to be allocated for this reflects the questionable power of judgment being exercised by those expected to rank responsibly the problems confronting the city.

rc swofford more than 2 years ago

Enough is Enough

I have HAD it with the apologists and the whitewashing of history. Almost EVERY American today who can trace their ancestry to the Civil War era had family that fought on both sides of the conflict. Why should I not be allowed to celebrate BOTH sides of my family just because of ideology.

The Civil War is one of THE great defining moments of our history. To remove that monument; giving into PC apologism is irresponsible and reprehensible, and to remove that monument because of some perception it presents an objectionable message is outright UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

DE Wyatt more than 2 years ago

Priorities

The city has a major violent crime problem. The schools a substandard. Roads are like minefields and businesses continue to move out. Our mayor is concerned about a statue.

Frank Absher more than 2 years ago

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