Letter writer: Too much history is claimed as racist

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I grew up in Asheville and was recently visiting the area. My brother still lives in Asheville. I read the [letter to the editor] “Remove Vance’s Name From Downtown Monument” [ March 30, Xpress]. I do not believe political leaders are turning a blind eye to racist policies. I believe history is just that: history.

You can’t change history, nor should you try turn it into a racial issue. It seems to me too much of our history is being claimed as racist. We have no control over history — it is what it is.

To ignore the positive things that have occurred in our history is an injustice. Sadly, it seems, most people today want to turn everything into a racial issue. Once again, we can’t change history, and a racial connotation need not be applied to everything.

— J.R. Gee
Gaffney, S.C.


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16 thoughts on “Letter writer: Too much history is claimed as racist

  1. boatrocker

    How true- unless a relative, family member or ancestor has ever been lynched for whistling at a white girl.
    The somehow it becomes personal.

    Thank you, SC for setting us all straight on American history.

  2. Lulz

    You left out the most important issue. The tools aren’t riling up the useful idiots for anything but the benefit of themselves. To bring that in, of course the mainly white male structure has to be taken down and they turned into 2nd class citizens. We’re not talking about the elites here but the proles who never had privilege or power to begin with.

    • bsummers

      Wait – you bemoan the demise of the white male power structure (and other fairy tales, but OK), but you insist that the only real victims will be the ones with no power to begin with? To quote the poet, LOL! You’ve always had power, but you gave it away to demagogues who convinced you that your problems were the fault of the brown-skinned people. And now you’re waking up to the fact that you were fooled. Poor whites in this country have always had more in common with poor blacks than they do with rich whites – but that didn’t stop you from giving your power away.

      But don’t worry. Herr Drumpf will set things right.

  3. Peter Robbins

    Asheville has a proud tradition of progressive change. I hate it when outsiders come in from off-mountain and try to make us keep things the way they are. They have no respect for our values and our way of life.

    • bsummers

      Well said. Wait – Gaffney? Isn’t that where the water tower is that looks like a giant ‘rhymes-with-totem’?

      I think we should zipline down there and demand that they change it/don’t change it.

  4. jack

    I think it’s very unhelpful to make such broad statements. If you are talking specifically about the Vance monument, there is good reason to have the name changed/taken down. Not only was Vance a slave owner, but after the Civil War he was an advocate and contributor to what is known as the “Lost Cause” -an ideology that was used to rationalize, among other things, “white rule” and the implementation of Jim Crow. On top of all that, if you want to portray Vance in downtown because of other positive things he has done – fine – but there has to be context. A monument (especially the vance monument which bears a liking to the Washington monument) is an uncritical affirmation of this person’s legacy. I personally don’t believe that’s the right message to send – and taking it down has nothing to do with “changing history”, on the contrary, it is a healthy engagement with our past.

    • bsummers

      Well said. What about a permanent addition to the monument that provides the context?

      “Sure, Vance did good things, but here’s some reasons not everyone thinks he should memorialized…”

      • Lulz

        LOL, ooh I know. How about a big fat dollar sign because in Asheville, we decry slavery but not wage slavery LOL, LOL. And how dare we offend all the uppercrust New York liberals that spend their money here to feed the greed. Let’s tear down everything deemed “southern” lulz. And all the while the poor get the shaft by the same people that are compassionate about the poor. Hey that’s another idea. Turn the Vance monument into a shaft to glorify the obscene and the greed that is Asheville and that many get here day in and day out. Courtesy of Gordo McFake, Cecil TheDrunk, Brownie Sunlight, and all the other buffoons that are the great pretenders.

      • Peter Robbins

        Or here are the names of the black “convicts” who died building his railroad. If anyone ever wrote them down.

        • bsummers

          Timer’s running on lulz or someone else to come on here & tell us why even putting Vance in context is bad.

          • Peter Robbins

            Oh, it’ll be the usual bleeding-heart bleep. He was a product of his time. He was the victim of social forces beyond his control. He didn’t get his sprouts when he was a tad. How about we just chisel an asterisk after his name?

          • boatrocker

            Sometimes I feel like The Riddler- I’m compelled to always play the Devil’s Advocate and I can’t control it- oh no.
            I for the most part agree Vance was far from perfect, but guess what is worse?

            Naming Asheville buildings after corporate entities (or as the Supreme Court has ruled- people).

  5. bsummers

    I would have thought that genuine conservatives would want to pull it down because of it’s Masonic cult aspects. Vance was a 3rd Degree Master Freemason (“masonry” – get it? The Vance pyramid obelisk has 33 stone layers… Do I have to spell it out for you people?!?).

    New World Order, y’all. Just sayin’…

  6. The Real World

    @bsummers – the Shvance Monument comment was truly funny (but there probably should be a ‘c’ between the S and h….if you really want to be Yiddish about it)

    But in answer to your last comment: you know what? People have more important things to worry about. They truly do! There are plenty of dim-witted, time wasters in this town (no, I don’t think you’re dim but you’re too inclined to waste time and feed those who are).

    Can we please not feed their weak ideas and talk about some &^$#? that actually matters in the 21st century?

    • Yep

      YES, thanks for your post! See, racism is one of the biggest useable tools of the left to continue to create MORE unneeded STRIFE …it’s one of their biggest cards to play for the progressive agenda, because racial harmony does not fit their continuous need of a
      dependent society.

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