I snapped this photo on a walk with Rooki in Van Buren, Arkansas. Some Confederate up on a pedestal, a common sight in the South. I suppose with that hand shielding his eyes from the sun he’s meant to be lookin’ away to Dixie, but in reality he was probably just trying to figure out where the pet opossum who hated him ran off to.
I imagined how nice it would be to ride up on a horse, lasso the damn thing and bring it smashing down into a nice pile of rubble where rats could shelter from the rain and cold. Now that’d be a fair lynching. After the Civil War, those of the slave state rebels who weren’t ventilated by Union grapeshot were understood to be what they were — traitors. As far as monumentalization goes, most of them didn’t even merit gravestones. But once the North proceeded to make the irremediable error of not entirely subjugating the South, favoring a Reconstruction that empowered it instead to maintain all of its darkest traditions short of outright slaveholding, these monuments began to pop up as reminders of who was really in charge. Today, that man up there would be reading QAnon threads on Reddit, putting the word “Deplorable” in his Twitter handle and parroting every word Tucker Carlson told them to, ranting about liberal elites and witch hunts. What’s going on now was called the Alabamization of America.
May the North rise up again.