Confederate memorials; Korean War; slavery, plantation tours and crazy tourists; presidents and the N-word; and eel pie.

I have but one link to post today about the flag controversy, as I think we’ve long reached a point where most of what is out there is redundant. Historian Gordon Rhea has this piece for CNN that considers whether we should next go after Confederate memorials of all kinds. I’m all for the idea of leaving them alone but adding some interpretive signage to place them into historical context. The placing of those memorials has a history of its own, and we should not remove these important reminders of how previous generations viewed the Confederacy, because it teaches us something about those generations and the evolution of the historical memory of the Civil War. I’m pretty confident that historians will soon become more vocal in opposing any effort to go after all Confederate memorials and will do so with the same vigor as they have supported taking down the flags.

Here’s an interesting interview with an anonymous tour guide at a plantation home site, discussing her experiences with racists guests and others that get annoyed when slaves and slavery come up in her presentations. This is some funny, but sad and frustrating stuff. As a former seasonal park ranger at a Civil War battlefield site, I encountered this kind of stuff near daily (perhaps because my white skin and southern accent made people think it was “safe” to make certain comments. I dunno).

Today is the anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Time has an article about the start of a conflict that is largely forgotten, but that still haunts us today.

Many commentators decided to take Obama to task for using the “N-word” the other day, without considering the context in which he used it. But is he the first president to use it? Of course not, and here is a piece from Salon reviewing Truman’s, LBJ’s, and Nixon’s use of the N-word.

Thinking about what to have for dinner? How about some roast beaver tail, turtles, and eel pie? At one time,  Smithsonian tells us, that would’ve been a typical American meal. Mmmm


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