Gertrude “Trude” Lamb, 16, describes herself as a shy person. She never wanted to be the center of attention. But, in the summer of 2020, when Trude became the face of a movement to rename Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, she was suddenly in a spotlight she’d never imagined. A friend nudged her to join a local campaign and send a letter to the school board, but she wasn’t sure why. Trude, who emigrated from Ghana in 2014, wasn’t familiar with Lee or anything related to the Confederacy. So, she began to research. “At school, they usually just teach the good part about somebody,” she says. “They don’t teach the bad part.” A star athlete on her school’s varsity cross-country team, she’d penned a letter to school board members stating she’d no longer wear a jersey that bore the name of an enslaver.
The United States of America is a white supremacist nation. It always has been. Its white founders, venerated and lionized though they are in textbooks and on courthouse lawns, explicitly intended the country to be this way. The country’s founding documents make that goal clear. Through the centuries, the predominantly white ruling class has worked overtime to uphold this status quo, even as the goalposts periodically shift. A trio of new books delve into this rotten heart of American whiteness and explore how its bloody footprints smudged the nation’s past and continue to influence its uncertain future. Connor Towne O’Neill’s Down Along with That Devil’s Bones: A Reckoning with Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy...
The removal of Confederate statues around Richmond, Va., had a personal resonance for me, a Richmond native who once lived around the corner from the Robert E. Lee monument – the only one of the five monuments to rebel figures still (as I write this) standing on Monument Avenue. I used to go jogging on the avenue’s median starting at Lee, veering around Jefferson Davis and turning to retrace my steps as I approached Stonewall Jackson. As Leon Trotsky said, “revolution is impossible until it’s inevitable.” He spoke from experience; the socialist revolution he sought seemed stuck in neutral until the events of 1917 opened the floodgates. Suddenly, Confederate statues began to fall one by one, not just in Richmond or Virginia but wherever they stood. DC’s only public monument to a Confederate figure – General Albert Pike – was pulled down and burned by activists on Juneteenth.
About 1,000 heavily armed militia, all of whom were Black, marched through Georgia's Stone Mountain Park on Saturday, challenging white nationalist groups in the area to either come out and fight or join them in demonstrating against the government. Stone Mountain State Park officials said the Black militia group was peaceful, orderly and escorted by police as they called for the removal of the country's largest Confederate monument near Atlanta. The Black militia is calling for the removal of the Confederate monument etched into Stone Mountain, GA. In 1915, the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It has been a site used for the racist KKK to hold rallies and where the Klan was reborn. It is the world's largest monument to white supremacy, completed in 1972 after the Civil Rights Acts were made into law. It was a way for racists to show that white supremacy still ruled.