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Civil War Museum Under Fire For Displaying Items From the Civil War

Goldhedge

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Civil War Museum Under Fire For Displaying Items From the Civil War
Posted on February 11, 2016 by Kevin Levin



You heard that right. The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is taking heat from the mayor and others for a new exhibit on firearms sponsored by the National Rifle Association. While the source of the funding has come under scrutiny, the larger concern is the display of weapons, including William Quantrill’s colt revolver.

I spoke at the museum last September and had a chance to hold this specific weapon with the assistance of Wayne Motts, who is the museum’s director. Wayne and the rest of the staff have done a fabulous job promoting Civil War history in the Harrisburg area under conditions that any public historian can appreciate. The permanent exhibit is well executed and offers a comprehensive overview of the war, Reconstruction and memory.

The museum does not “glorify the Confederacy,” Quantrill or violence of any kind. Such comments from the mayor and others suggest that they have not experienced the museum or they are simply out to destroy it. Is it really such a surprise that a Civil War museum would display weapons from the war? Even more bizarre is the implicit assumption that no weapons were on display before this special exhibit. Of course, they are part of the permanent exhibit.

I am not a fan of the NRA, but I don’t see any problem with accepting funding to display items from the museum’s collection. There is no indication that the NRA is responsible for interpreting the items. In fact, as I noted above, the overall exhibit does an excellent job of dealing with the history of slavery, race and racial violence.

All of this said, I think the museum is missing an opportunity to engage with concerned citizens in the community:

“I don’t think the glorification of the heritage of the Confederacy does anybody any good,” said Keith Bentz, a local activist who held a sign at the protest. “We are supposed to all be brothers and sisters. Let’s act like we’re brothers and sisters…Why constantly remind people of color. It’s just wrong.”

Bentz brought a sign that compared Quantrill to Dylann Roof, who was accused of killing nine churchgoers in Charleston last year. Another protestor’s sign simply said, “An affront to decency.”

Homer Floyd, former longtime leader of the state’s human relations commission, planned the protest Wednesday night to coincide with the opening of a reception at the museum to celebrate the NRA’s outdoor show. Floyd said he thinks Quantrill was a terrorist and that historical items associated with Quantrill should be handled with sensitivity.

Alan Kennedy Shaffer, a local attorney and Harrisburg School Board member, showed up in the bitter temperatures Wednesday night to support the effort. He noted the country had made progress recently by taking down Confederate flags, recognizing they can be hurtful. “I think there needs to be a distinction between gawking at a weapon of hate and exploring the context so we can all learn,” he said.

This is an opportunity to welcome concerned citizens into the museum to discuss the meaning of the Civil War in light of recent events and the current racial climate. I am not suggesting that it would be easy, but it is an opportunity to hold meaningful conversation about this important moment in American history and the ways in which it still shapes our understanding of the present and vice versa.

Where else do these artifacts belong if not in a museum?

http://cwmemory.com/2016/02/11/civil-war-museum-under-fire-for-displaying-items-from-the-civil-war/
 

argentos

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#2
Give it time. The American civil war was only about 150 years ago.

We English stopped ranting about ours (1642–1651) a few generations ago, but yours may take longer because of the racial connotations.
 

the_shootist

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Antis are going to whine ...it's what they do
 

AGG

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There may be some negative attitudes against the museum due to the financial situation that the city has been under.

Part of that financial situation was brought about through forner Mayor Reeds attempt to establish several national museums in Harrisburg including a National 'wild west' museum. It was alledged that he was using city budget money to purchase items related to the wild west while the city suffered.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_R._Reed

The civil war museum was one of his ventures. Camp Curtain, just north of the city was a mustering point for the union army, thus, though Harrisburgh itself saw no conflicts, it was a integral part of the campaign.

There may also be a growing public sentemism to stop worshiping the past and its wars and to advance peace.

Though some positive aspects seem to have occurred through the war, many of us here on the forum recognize it and the 14th amendment as a doorway to federal political and corporate, militant enslavement.


abc
 
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solarion

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Wonder if the same folks whining about a fricking museum displaying historical artifacts have a problem with the superbowl halftime show.



You have to figure if you're going to a civil war museum you're likely to be reminded (at some point) that there were at least two perspectives at work during the war...but how many football fans knew they were going to a black panther rally with a side of football tossed in for shits and giggles?
 

the_shootist

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Wonder if the same folks whining about a fricking museum displaying historical artifacts have a problem with the superbowl halftime show.



You have to figure if you're going to a civil war museum you're likely to be reminded (at some point) that there were at least two perspectives at work during the war...but how many football fans knew they were going to a black panther rally with a side of football tossed in for shits and giggles?
God Damned Racist!!!

/s
 

Mongrel

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And last night PBS aired "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution - Independent Lens" - which showed the repression by whitey! Check for future airings! Are you ready?
 

the_shootist

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The South will rise again

 

mtnman

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Mr Paradise

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The South will rise again




The Confederate Battle Flag symbolizes the Cross of Saint Andrews, the patron Saint of Scotland and Northern Ireland. It just so happens that Southerners were Scotch/Irish - hence, the current demonetization of Christians and Southerners by the Pharisees (also know as Jewish) that control the media (and the country).