Imagine you’re a pig, and so is your dad. Imagine your dad sucks, but on a massive, historic level—let’s say he wanted to own other pigs and led an army to fight for his right to do so. Imagine one day your dad took a shit in the middle of the town square and then died. Imagine 100 years later, all the pigs in town have to walk by that pile of shit every day, smelling it and looking at it, until one day someone says, “Let’s clean up that pile of shit.” But another group of pigs—some who don’t even know who your dad is—is like, “No—I love that pile of shit. That pile of shit represents my heritage.” You might be like, true, but we don’t need to keep a pile of shit in the middle of the town square. After all, it’s a pile of shit, and what are we, animals?
On this week’s episode of Big Time Dicks, we take up this question. Prachi and I talk with Jezebel’s own Stassa Edwards about the origin of the confederate statues that have become the subject of a national debate about HISTORY and MANHOOD and WHITE SUPREMACISTS and HOW OUR PRESIDENT IS ONE.
Stassa explains how many of the monuments dotting the South look similar because they were all produced by a group called the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who would raise money to construct various monuments around the region to construct a positive narrative of what the Confederacy fought for.
“A lot of public art is mass produced, and what we perceive as value of it is something that culturally we’ve given to it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s expensive or good or interesting just because it’s in a public space. But for some reason we’ve granted that if it exists in a public space, if this idea has been posited and materialized in stone or metal that it’s somehow good, just on an aesthetic level. Of course that’s not true,” she said.
“This idea that sculpture, or that monuments represent history is a very slippery idea because what history is it representing?”
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