Erasable marker?

It seems too easy to remove state historic plaques

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Often we’ve written laments about the labyrinth of red tape that an average citizen has to navigate when it comes to accomplishing anything within a government – local, state or federal.

Or keeping someone from accomplishing anything.

Now we find ourselves writing about a governmental procedure that seems much, much too easy.

Across from The Augusta Chronicle, on the 700 block of Broad Street, used to sit a plaque, erected by the state in 1954 to commemorate an 1856 Augusta visit by British novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.

We say “used to” because the historical marker has been removed. At first, we didn’t know by whom, but later learned that the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources took it away during the summer.

Why? Because one person complained about some of the language on the plaque.

The marker excerpted Thackeray’s written reflections about Augusta, which included this direct quote: “Slavery no where repulsive, the black faces invariably happy and plump, the white ones eager and hard.”

Actually the plaque was first singled out in a review of all state historic markers back in 2001, but the state lacked funds at the time to do anything about it. But a single February letter from an Augusta resident seemed to have jogged the state’s memory.

So a DNR crew that happened to be in the area recently merely swung by, picked up the marker and put it in storage at Mistletoe State Park up at Thurmond Lake.

A DNR spokeswoman said a new marker will be erected, minus the language the complainant found offensive.

End of story? Not quite. There is the matter of the complaint process that spurred all of this. Since when can a 59-year-old state historic marker be uprooted based almost solely on a single months-old complaint? What if someone else has a problem with one of the other 70-plus state historic plaques in Richmond County? What then?

The DNR said it’s looking at possibly instituting a new complaint policy. It certainly should. Removing official historic plaques shouldn’t be so simple.

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specsta
6505
Points
specsta 10/25/13 - 01:57 am
5
24
Exactly Who's Side Are You On?

ACES wrote - "Now we find ourselves writing about a governmental procedure that seems much, much too easy."

Okay, let me get this straight - a racist plaque was removed from Broad Street and you guys think it was too easy to have it removed? So what should have been the procedure? Congressional hearings, a mayoral breakfast to discuss the situation and a referendum on the ballot?

A RACIST plaque was removed!!! Who would have a problem with that? Only the folks at ACES, that's who. The editorial staff that trumpets limited government and limited red tape, actually wants MORE red tape to make it HARDER to remove a sign with racist language.

Typical of ACES, why am I not surprised...

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/25/13 - 04:06 am
4
25
The AC and many of it's
Unpublished

The AC and many of it's readers harken back to the "good old days". They complain about rewriting history, indoctrination, etc. All it is, is not so thinly disguised racism.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 10/25/13 - 05:10 am
7
3
Bob Young

I wonder how Bob Young would have handled this?

southern2
6118
Points
southern2 10/25/13 - 05:21 am
18
3
Return it now!

I view the statement on the censored marker as historical fact supplied by an eyewitness account of 1856. I do not trust revisionist updates and like my history true and accurate.

Sorry some folks just can't handle the truth. We have seen so many southern history monuments attacked and our past demonized by modern day zealots that continue to pursue a total cleansing of Dixie. Still there are some of us who refuse to accept that being southern born is a shameful thing.

My vote is for the GDNR to bring our marker back immediately and punish the one that made the decision to quietly remove it from us.

carcraft
25787
Points
carcraft 10/25/13 - 05:46 am
15
2
There are many issues. The

There are many issues. The first is how the marker was removed. The second is the content of the marker. If the British took over America and found the Revolutionary War Markers offensive could they remove them? Can ONE complaint get a marker removed? Should there be a process for historical correction? Who get to decide? If I find any marker offensive can I remove it on my whim? And Regardless of what you learn in the Politically Correct Courses on history, history can be pretty offensive, we need to study, learn and live with the facts that formed our lives even if it makes us uncomfortable, it is who we are, the bad make better the best celebrate!

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 10/25/13 - 06:01 am
15
2
You can remove the marker...

...but you can't erase history, good or bad. Shame on DNR!!

Georgia law expressly prohibits relocating removing, concealing, obscuring, or altering in any fashion any official State or local government sign or monument honoring the military activities of the Confederacy (see below). I think this law needs to be broadened to encompass ANY historical marker.

O.C.G.A. 50-3-1(b)(2)): "No publicly owned monument or memorial erected, constructed, created, or maintained on the public property of this state or its agencies, departments, authorities, or instrumentalities in honor of the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or the several states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or the several states thereof shall be relocated, removed, concealed, obscured, or altered in any fashion; provided, however, that appropriate measures for the preservation, protection, and interpretation of such monuments or memorials shall not be prohibited."

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 10/25/13 - 06:22 am
17
3
Some need be reminded what

Some need be reminded what racism actually is.

Racism: the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

No where in this marker is racism displayed. Thackeray’s written reflections about Augusta is just an observation of the people he saw and in no way is diminishing anyone's character. There are those who wish to view everything as racism because their own self esteem is lacking.

If someone soon finds our nations flag or symbols offensive I suppose we'll cower down and remove those too.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 10/25/13 - 07:24 am
12
2
These intolerant

These intolerant Nazi-Democrats who use force to try and revise history, it's going to bit you on the butt one day. You liberal malcontents need to practise what you preach when you claim to be more open minded. History is what it is. This plaque was not hurting anyone other than some hypersentitive dolt that likely does not know who William Makepeace Thackeray is.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 10/25/13 - 07:57 am
10
2
Same thing happened to our state flag

A fewe outspoken critics attempted to change history by claiming that the Stars and Bars flag represented slavery. It did not. It represented the Confederate Staes of America. A society of people who wished to live in peace, and even went to war to defend it. Just because they lost the war, many want to bash them, tell lies about them, and interject a different form of history to further their cause? The only word to describe that is treason. We want our old flag back!

On the other hand, if these outspoken critics get their way much longer, then history can be changed to say that slavery never happened. Imagine that! Slavery never happened! It was just made up to further one's cause...

ymnbde
9723
Points
ymnbde 10/25/13 - 08:13 am
10
2
the reading levels of black kids?

the graduation rates of black kids?
perhaps they should have a marker for those?
when democrats love black kids
more than they love big government
black kids will be educated, too
it's the new improved racism

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 10/25/13 - 08:32 am
9
2
This just part of the plan
Unpublished

This just part of the plan to fundamentally change our country.
Michelle Obama stated on the campaign trail in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 14, 2008 that she knows Barack Obama has to change our history.

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 10/25/13 - 08:44 am
9
1
A few major questions that have been over looked so far...

What was on the other markers?
Where were they located?
When were they taken down?
Where are those markers now?
Do we have a name for the 1 person?

Such info is public record.
Knowing this would also show whether we have:
* real local person,
* a out of town whiner,
* or a Ga employee turned PC Police doing as they PC feel.

Inquiring minds want to know the whole story.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 10/25/13 - 08:48 am
7
1
The More I Think About This

We should start using Bob Young's name as a verb. When something controversial like this is up as was with the Confederate flag on the Riverwalk, let's just "Bob Young it" and have it quietly removed. No fuss.

seenitB4
86957
Points
seenitB4 10/25/13 - 08:48 am
9
1
Whitewash America

It is happening as we speak....simply ridiculous & costly.

Did the concentration camps happen? Did we confiscate the Indian lands? Did we have slavery in the past? Spend the money were it is needed & stop with this fantasy of wiping away anything in the past that doesn't suit our fancy...MOVE ON.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 10/25/13 - 08:57 am
11
2
ymnbde said, "the graduation
Unpublished

ymnbde said, "the graduation rates of black kids?"
A friend of mine was filling in as a first year Algebra teacher. He ask what numbers multiplied = 18. Many of the black kids had no idea.

justthefacts
21757
Points
justthefacts 10/25/13 - 09:04 am
9
3
Hate math

"He ask what numbers multiplied = 18." Come on teaparty. Don't leave us hanging, what is it?

deestafford
27514
Points
deestafford 10/25/13 - 09:09 am
9
2
ICL, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Anytime someone disagrees with anything that has to do with race they are called "racists". Once again our "education" system, if it can be called that, fails to teach people the meaning of a word.

Of course, if those who throw around the term "racist" had one of those thick books with words and meanings of words in it, I think it's called a dictionary, they could look up words and use them properly. Of course we don't want to strain the leftist/liberal/progressive into logical thinking.

Bizkit
31304
Points
Bizkit 10/25/13 - 09:10 am
10
1
We can't have racism so we

We can't have racism so we need to burn some books too that contain racism like: Huck Finn, The Secret Garden, Sherlock Holmes, Chronicles of Narnia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Gone with the Wind all contain racism and should be banned. My guess for those who support this "historic" plaque removal will be burning bibles too. Augusta use to have slaves burn the place down-heck the whole state. Good gosh-good sense done left the building. Idiotic ideologues haven't a brain in their head. Wiping away memories of the past just assures it will happen again. People have relatively short life-spans within a few generations all can be lost-how do you think we had a "Dark age"-OMG I said "dark" it must be racist.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 10/25/13 - 09:11 am
4
5
"He ask what numbers

"He ask what numbers multiplied = 18. Many of the black kids had no idea."

Maybe it was because he asked using bad grammar?

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 10/25/13 - 09:12 am
3
1
Other Public Figures Who Turned Into Verbs

I shouldn’t pick on Bob Young, too much, making a verb out of his name. Some things stick out in our minds as salient reminders of something former mayors have done. What about Deke when he disappeared during the Cherry Tree riots? He said he was at the beach with his phone turned off.

So if you “Deke It” you are nowhere to be found when there’s trouble.

If you “Larry Sconyers It” you fall asleep whatever the situation.

If you “Charles Devaney it” you pay the bills with money from South Augusta.

If you “Ed McIntyre it” whatever IT is, you best have a lawyer.

If you “Don Cheeks it” you buy up land before the roads are built.

If you “Ben Harbin it” you found a good DUI lawyer.

If you “Ben Harbin2 it” you have found a good sales rep to have drinks and dinner with.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 10/25/13 - 09:23 am
7
2
It Is Yet Another Example...

...of how Political Correctness is destroying our Country.

Someone, especially a black someone, gets "offended" by something and the rest of society bends over backwards to make it better for them. To hell with the rest of society and what "offends" them.

I'm offended by this PC nonsense that has our governments (at all levels) paralyzed. But, of course, nobody gives a rat's ask.

Bizkit
31304
Points
Bizkit 10/25/13 - 09:26 am
7
1
Soon there will no trace of

Soon there will no trace of racism anywhere in America except the black community where racism is the strongest according to studies that indicate it associates with low education and socioeconomic status. It will be a difficult task to get blacks to start trusting and quit hating white folks-especially when Dem politicians feed that crap for political purposes (Just like Lyndon Johnson). Till then we can be proactive and can start by posting a warning sign on Riverwalk- "Black male are 40 times as likely to assault a white person" with a little baseball bat emblem. Now is that racist or just true facts?
Ok put the cheese in, pull back the spring, now wait.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 10/25/13 - 09:26 am
0
0
Let's remove Woodrow Wilson Plaque. He was a devote racist.
Unpublished

An outspoken racist. A friend of black ethnic cleansing racist.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 10/25/13 - 09:28 am
0
0
Let's remove Abraham Lincoln words. He was a racist. He used
Unpublished

black slavery as a "recruitment package". He used "black tragedy" to ensure his reelection. Abe was so much like all politicians.

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 10/25/13 - 09:29 am
8
1
This is most likely shocking, coming from me.

But I actually disagree with the removal of the sign.

One of my family members is an historian, and my childhood memories are filled with visits to museums, battlefields, and endless historical markers. Through this exploration of history-as-adventure, I learned more about subjects like slavery and the Civil War than most people will ever learn in a lifetime. And my life is so much more enriched because of this appreciation of, and exposure to, our nation's history.

I think the marker should stand, so that people can read it and do their own reasearch to that William Makepiece Thackeray, author of the classic novel Vanity Fair, was also a dyed-in-the-wool racist who wrote the following in a letter to his mother in England:

"They are not my men and brethren, these strange people with theire retreating foreheads, and with great obtruding lips and jaws . . . Sambo is not my man and my brother."

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 10/25/13 - 09:47 am
5
0
Also...

...the man that accompanied Thackeray to America, his secretary Eyre Crowe, is known for his writings and drawings about this very same journey:

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6762/

Most notably, his act of writing and drawing his observations, which is analagous to modern-day Twitter or Vine, was viewed with derision and hostility:

"When I got into the room I noticed, hanging on the wall, a quaintly framed and dirty lithograph, representing two horsemen galloping upon sorry nags, one of the latter casting its shoe, and his companion having a bandaged greasy fetlock; the marginal inscription on the border was to this effect:—“Beware of what you are about.”"

Bizkit
31304
Points
Bizkit 10/25/13 - 09:46 am
6
2
We can put a plaque right

We can put a plaque right beside it about President Johnson's fight for civil rights for blacks although he was a devout racist and did it to control blacks.

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 10/25/13 - 09:49 am
5
3
@Bizkit

Historical markers are designed to implore a sense of place, of "this happened here", to make history feel less distant and irrelevant. What point would there be in putting a marker about President Johnson in Augusta?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/25/13 - 09:52 am
6
2
I just hope nobody puts in a

I just hope nobody puts in a complaint about the Cotton Exchange or the Haunted Pillar. I love those guys. They were both directly associated with slavery and present when things went down. What about the river? Gasp! Erebody's dirty now. Bring me a wrecking-ball and a crane and I'll rid this town of these awful displays of racism and shame.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 10/25/13 - 09:55 am
7
3
"....was also a dyed-in-the-wool racist...."

It is foolish (and unreasonable) to hold someone of a long past generation accountable to contemporary standards of behavior or thought.

It is equally foolish and unreasonable to believe contemporary standards are better, or more "right," than those in vogue at other times in history.

Just because we currently hold some social belief does not mean that it will always be viewed in the same light as we view it, or that those who don't accept our view are necessarily "bad," or "wrong."

Beyond all that, name calling rarely accomplishes much of anything that can be viewed as positive.

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