Steve Brandon 
Member since Aug 22, 2014

Recent Comments

Re: “Reconstruction

Most of the monuments on the avenue are monuments to an historical revisionist movement called the Lost Cause. This rewriting of history occurred in the late 1800s and held sway through much of the 20th Century. A generation had passed since the South lost a war of rebellion, and folks were more than ready to Romanticize and create tourism around the rebellion and the South's and Richmond's part in it. The Lost Cause was an historical movement to rewrite history to change the cause being fraught for by the South from fighting for slavery to a noble one of fighting for state and local sovereignty against a totalitarian, Federal government. You can see this revisionist history still gets some play from a few of the comments in this thread. This is fine, as long as you know that the State Rights and popular, local opinion the South fought for was the right to maintain the institution of slavery as directly opposed to free labor. Read, for instance, the newspapers and magazines of Richmond as Secession is debated. They lay out the "cause" well. The Lost Cause revised history and made the South avocation of slavery acceptable to itself, but it also justified the other, "noble" effort, that is, the one to maintain white supremacy and Jim Crow when white power had begun to erode as African-Americans, like Maggie Walker, found their voice and struggled to gain the rights, opportunities, power, and the vote the Constitution guaranteed each citizen, regardless of race. Oddly, I don't think these monuments should be torn down. They are our history, and this history cannot and should not be erased, because to do so erases moments when we can talk and debate and learn from what happened during the rebellion and after. Jefferson and Madison said it well in the Statute for Religious Freedom, truth has nothing to fear as long as we allow free debate and argument. Instead of tearing down the monuments, I propose we build more monument and truly make Richmond a Monument City. This time we should build them to those about whom we can be rightfully proud--the Virginia Framers and Founders of the US and the role Richmond played in forming a nation built on the ideal that ALL are equal. Patrick Henry, Madison, George Wythe, Jefferson, etc. come to might. We can put up monuments to Gabriel and Nat Turner, who led slave revolts in the fight to give the Declaration meaning for all. We can put up a momentum to Anthony Burns, the recaptured Richmond slave whose case united Boston and New England Abolitionists against the Fugitive Slave Law. We can have a museum which tells the story of slavery in Richmond and the horrors of Lumpkin's jail and its like. We can put up monuments and tell the stories of the real heroes for the struggle for freedom.

41 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Steve Brandon on 06/24/2015 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Mayor Attempts to Shift School Debate

We need less splash--stadiums, bike lanes, and training camps--and more substance from both the mayor and the council. Roads that break suspensions and schools in such disreapear they distract from our future equates to a city leadership with the wrong priorities. Few of us would put a Porshe in the driveway before fixing a leaking roof or ensuring the safety of our kids. The stadium as proposed would cost $79 million. The immediate needs of the schools--which heretofore were swept under the rug-- are half the cost of the stadium. Fixing roofs, mokd , and AC isn't sexy, but leaders who meet pragmatic, hard choices will get my vote every time. I, for one, welcome the new school superentendent's openness about what it is going to take to begin fixing public education ion Richmond.

5 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Steve Brandon on 08/22/2014 at 11:20 AM

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