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Tony Cartledge, “Are We Erasing History–Or Cementing It? p. 531
p. 532, q. 1-8
1. Cartledge says of Confederate statues, “It’s about time they came down” (para 8). Is this the thesis, or is another sentence in the essay what better states his position? Explain.
2. In paragraph 3, Cartledge notes that most of the statues in question “were erected not after the Civil War, but during the Jim Crow era.” Why does he mention this fact? How does it support his thesis?
3. What Cartledge mean when he says, “Who knew it would take the advent of smartphone video cameras and social media to get centuries of brutality against Black Americans off the back burner” (9)?
4. According to Cartledge, dismantling monuments is “only a start” (11)? What do you think he means?
5. In paragraphs 13-17, Cartledge discusses how the ancient Egyptians and Romans treated their monuments. What point is he making? How is this essay relevant to the essay’s focus?
6. Where does Cartledge refute arguments against his position? Are these counterarguments convincing, or should he have done more to address opposing arguments?
7. Which paragraphs comprise the essay’s conclusion? What point (or points) does Cartledge emphasize there? Should he have focused on other points? Explain?
8. What is Cartledge’s view of “cancel culture” (20)? How can you tell?
Sue Eisenfeld, “Should We Remove Confederate Monuments–Even If They Are Artistically Valuable?” p. 533
p. 539, q. 1-7
1. Eisenfeld begins her essay with 1912 and 1914 descriptions of the Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery as well as a reference to President Woodrow Wilson’s speech at the formal dedication of the monument. What point is she making by including this material? Is this an effective opening strategy? Explain.
2. What do the relatives of the sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, think of his statue? Does Eisenfeld agree or disagree with them? How do you know?
3. What is the significance of the fact that Moses Ezekiel is Jewish?
4. According to Eisenfeld, Moses Ezekiel was again slavery. Why, then, did he support the South during the American Civil War?
5. Do you agree with Samantha Baskin, professor of art history when she says, “All of these Confederate monuments are contemptuous; nevertheless there is some inherent value in all of them to a degree, and Ezekiel’s, certainly” (para. 21). Do you think she is right? Why or why not?
6. What, according to Eisenfeld, was the “intention” of the Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery?
Why does she think that this goal “was doomed from the start” (32)?
7. What ethical principle does Eisdenfeld rely on in her essay? Does she adequately analyze Ezekiel’s statue based on this principle?
Tyler D. Parry, “Conservatives Are Once Again Trying to Erase Black History” p. 540
p. 542, q. 1-7
1. Why does Parry begin his essay by quoting Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator? How does this strategy help him introduce his argument?
2. In paragraph 3, Parry says that many Black Southerners were “erased from history because they were Black.” How does her explain this fact?
3. According to Parry, how is Confederate history traditionally represented? How does this interpretation misrepresent what actually occurred?
4. Parry has strong feelings about his subject. What biases does he display? Do you think his biases undercut his message in any way?
5. According to Parry, how would focusing on Reconstruction help inform people of the contributions of Black Southerners who worked for social change?
6. In his conclusion, Parry says that “U.S. history does not need to revolve around the narratives of rich White men” (para. 13). What does he mean? Given this sentiment, what monuments do you think Parry would like to see in the U.S. Capitol?
7. What ethical principle is Parry alluding to in paragraph 13? Is this principle self-evident, or is it apparent just to this who believe as he does?
Match Landrieu, “On the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans” p. 543
p. 548, q. 1-10
1. Landrieu begins his speech by saying that New Orleans is “a melting pot, a bubbling caldron of many cultures” (para. 2). What is he trying to establish by focusing on the city and its history?
2. In paragraph 3, Landrieu says there is a difference “between remembrance of history and the reverence of it.” What distinction is he making here?
3. According to Landrieu, in what sense does the omission of markers the commemorate the condition of Black slaves constitute “historical malfeasance” (3)?
4. What was “The Cult of the Lost Cause” (5)? How do Confederate monuments further the “Lost Cause”?
5. Why does Landrieu believe that it is important to consider Confederate monuments “from the perspective of an African American. mother or father trying to explain to their fifth-grade daughter why Robert E. Lee sat atop of our city” (10)?
6. Where does Landrieu address those who disagree with him? How effectively does he deal with their concerns?
7. In his speech, Landrieu refers to Barack Obama, Wynton Marsalis, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela as well as to Abraham Lincoln. Why does he mention them? How do they help him make his points?
8. What points does Landrieu mention in his conclusion? Why do you think he decided to emphasize these points?
9. What indications are there that Landrieu’s remarks were presented as a speech?
10. In paragraph 21, Landrieu asks, “Is this really our story?” What do you think America’s story is? What monuments represent this story?
1. Why does Finney begin her essay by telling readers she is biracial? Why does she say that her story is an “American story”?
2. Do you think Finney expects her reader to be surprised by her thesis? Who can you tell?
3. What is miscegenation? What is Finney’s maternal grandmother referring to when she sauys it is a “sin and a stain that would never be made clean” (para 4)? Do you see the grandmother’s words as ironic, given her relationship with her granddaughter? Given the current rtacial climate in the United States? Explain.
4. How does Finney’s view of Robert E. Lee differ from that of her grandmother?
5. At what points in the essay does Finney appeal to ethos and pathos? How successful are these appeals?
6. What is the “revisionist version” of Lee’s story? What does Fiiney mean when she says Confederate statues were “erected to advance a dishonest history” (8)?
7. According to Finney, in what sense is her family history “messy and painful, but also inspiring” (12)?
8. In paragraph 13, Finney says “Is we want to move forward as Americans, we have to have an honest reckoning with our shared history” What does she mean? Do you agree?
Visual Argument: Do Confederate Monuments Belong in Public Spaces?
1. What ethical argument do you think the cartoon is making?
2. Identify at least three key details in the cartoon? How do these details reinforce its message?