Tuesday, August 21, 2018


A Confederate statue was taken down by demonstrators in North Carolina last night:
Protesters toppled the Silent Sam Confederate statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on Monday night.

... the monument ... had been erected in 1913 with donations from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
At Lawyers, Guns & Money, Erik Loomis says:
And lest anyone say this was history, note that this was put up in 1913, 48 years after the end of the Civil War, which is the equivalent of a Nazi statue being erected in 1993.
A New York Times story notes that a speech delivered at the monument's dedication is controversial today, but doesn't quite explain why:
At the time of the statue’s unveiling, in 1913, one speaker declared that “the whole Southland is sanctified by the precious blood of the student Confederate soldier” and boasted of how he had treated a “Negro wench” after his return from Appomattox. That speaker said the statue was raised to honor Confederate soldiers....
This is a sanitized account of the speech. The full story is at The Washington Post:
In 1913, Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist and supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, was invited to speak at the unveiling of a statue of a Confederate soldier on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill....

Carr’s lengthy address made clear the symbolism of the statue. First, he credited Confederate soldiers with saving “the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South,” adding, “to-day, as a consequence the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States — Praise God.”

Then, he went on to tell a personal story.

“I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal,” Carr said. “One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”
The Post story goes on to note that the protestors who toppled the statue hung several banners, one of which "listed victims of racial violence, beginning with 'Unnamed Black woman beaten by Julian Carr.'"

If you decide to mention Carr's speech in a news story about this protest, why would you go easy on the details, as Alan Blinder of the Times did? Why would you say that Carr "boasted of how he had treated a 'Negro wench'" without explaining that he boasted of whipping her "until her skirts hung in shreds," an act he described as a "pleasing duty"?

Does the Times consider that level of detail unfit for a family newspaper? I don't think so. Simultaneously, another Times story quotes a memo Brett Kavanaugh wrote to Ken Starr during Starr's investigation of President Clinton that included explicitly sexual questions:
Mr. Kavanaugh listed 10 possible questions based on Ms. Lewinsky’s testimony.... Among them were these:

... “If Monica Lewinsky says that you ejaculated into her mouth on two occasions in the Oval Office area, would she be lying?”

“If Monica Lewinsky says that you masturbated into a trash can in your secretary’s office, would she be lying?”
And a Times story about Asia Argento recounts what an accuser says she did to him in explicit detail:
A notice of intent to sue said that after Ms. Argento was left alone with Mr. Bennett, she gave him alcohol to drink and showed him a series of notes she had written to him on hotel stationery. Then she kissed him, pushed him back on the bed, removed his pants and performed oral sex, the document says. She climbed on top of him and the two had intercourse, the document also says.
If all that is fit to print, so are the violent details in Carr's speech.

Blinder linked to the speech, so he had access to the full text. Did he just not read it all the way through? Also, the account of the horse-whipping is at the Silent Sam Wikipedia page. It's not obscure knowledge if you're writing about this monument. But it never made its way into the story.


UPDATE: The paragraph I quoted from the Times story now reads:
At the time of the statue’s 1913 unveiling, one speaker boasted that, just 100 yards away, he had “horsewhipped a Negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds” after his return from Appomattox. He also declared that “the whole Southland is sanctified by the precious blood of the student Confederate soldier,” and that although the Confederacy was defeated, “the cause for which they fought is not lost.”
I'm pleased that the changes were made. But why wasn't the whipping mentioned in the first place?

Some sites that reprint syndicated Times columns still have the original version (here and here, for instance).

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