Discussion

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Discussion Board Prompt Week 6: Examine the language chosen for the Lost Cause monument in Oxford, Mississippi. Think about the positioning of the monument directly in front of the town courthouse located in the town square.  What kind of power do you think is being constructed in that space? Or do you see this memorial as a relatively benign symbol? What happens in this fusion of religious language and judicial space? How might a black American from Oxford feel about passing that statue as they enter the courthouse?  Read in connection with the short article, “Confederate Memorial as Instruments of Racial Terror.” Watch the short clip about the film, “Birth of a Nation.” What kind of work does the use of terms like “just and holy cause” in reference to the Confederacy do? What does it mean to make the enshrinement of slavery within the Confederate Constitution, “a just and holy cause?” What do you think is meant by “justification of their fathers faith?” Why do you think this statue was installed in 1907, more than 40 years after the end of the Civil War?  And what place does cross burning and the prominent display of the cross on the robes and hats of Klu Klux Klan members hold in the imagination? Do you know of any Confederate Memorials in Phoenix? If so, what kind of language is used, if any? Can we commemorate the dead without honoring the ideologies for which they died? Can you think of other examples where sacralizing the mission or ideology of the dead might be problematic, or immoral?

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