Page 22 - Oct 2017 MFM
P. 22

The “Confederate Fountain” in Helena
                                             The “Confederate Fountain” in Helena
                                                                          Or
                                                                          Or
                                                           Gone With The Wind
                                                           Gone With The Wind
          7KH 0HPRULDO )RXQWDLQ ZDV FRPPLVVLRQHG                            7KH  IRXQWDLQ  ZDV  UHPRYHG  IURP
         LQ            E\  WKH  8QLWHG  'DXJKWHUV  RI  WKH                 WKH  SDUN  RQ $XJXVW              &UHZV
         &RQIHGHUDF\   WR  KRQRU  H[ &RQIHGHUDWHV                          DUULYHG VKRUWO\ DIWHU   D P  )ULGD\  %\
         WKDW  PRYHG  WR  WKH  0RQWDQD  7HUULWRU\  DQG                     HDUO\ DIWHUQRRQ  LW ZDV OLIWHG E\ FUDQH
         ZHUH  LQVWUXPHQWDO  LQ  WKH  FUHDWLRQ  RI  WKH                    RQWR D À DWEHG WUXFN  7KH HYHQW GUHZ D
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         ZDV GHVLJQHG E\ ORFDO $UFKLWHFW *HRUJH +                           ,W KDV EHHQ VWDWHG WKDW WKH IRXQWDLQ
         &DUVOH\  LW ZDV EXLOW XVLQJ 0RQWDQD JUDQLWH                       LV WKH RQO\ &RQIHGHUDWH PRQXPHQW LQ
         2Q WKH )RXQWDLQ LW UHDGV  “A Longing Tribute                      WKH  1RUWK  :HVW   +RZHYHU   D  6HDWWOH
         to Our Confederate Soldiers.” $QG “By the                         FHPHWHU\ KDV D PRQXPHQW DV ZHOO
         Daughters of  the Confederacy in Montana,
         A.D. 1916.”                                                        “It was simply an architectural
                                                                           feature of the park that was a memorial
           ,Q -XO\       LQ WKH ZDNH RI WKH &KDUOHVWRQ                     to brothers and fathers who died
         FKXUFK VKRRWLQJ  VRPH +HOHQD FLW\ R൶  FLDOV                       during a terrible time in our nation’s
         FRQVLGHUHG  UHQDPLQJ  LW  DV  WKH  ³&LYLO  :DU  0HPRULDO   history.”  7KH  DUFKLWHFW  ZKR  GHVLJQHG  WKH  VWDWXWH
         )RXQWDLQ´   +RZHYHU   WKH  /HZLV     &ODUN  &RXQW\   *HRUJH +  &DUVOH\  ZDV WKH VRQ RI D &LYLO :DU YHWHUDQ
         +HULWDJH 7RXULVP &RXQFLO VXJJHVWHG WKH\ VKRXOG NHHS   ZKR IRXJKW RQ WKH 8QLRQ VLGH  “I’m sure he wouldn’t
         WKH KLVWRULF QDPH DQG FRQWH[WXDOL]H LWV HVWDEOLVKPHQW    have designed something that had a motive to promote
         +HOHQD  0D\RU  -LP  6PLWK  DJUHHG  WKDW  WKH  KLVWRULF   the KKK. I just don’t see it.” 6WDWHG 0+6 LQWHUSUHWLYH
         QDPH VKRXOG EH NHSW  %\ 2FWREHU       WKH\ DJUHHG   KLVWRULDQ (OOHQ %DXPOHU
         WR DGG D VLJQ WR FRQWH[WXDOL]H WKH IRXQWDLQ  +RZHYHU
         0D\RU -LP 6PLWK WXUQHG GRZQ WKH VXJJHVWLRQ WR DGG    “People have jumped on it because of what’s
         D GLVFODLPHU RQ WKH JURXQGV WKDW LW ZDV XQQHFHVVDU\    happening elsewhere, and I can certainly understand
         1HYHUWKHOHVV  E\ -DQXDU\       FLW\ R൶  FLDOV GLVFXVVHG   it,” %DXPOHU VDLG  “Now really the city probably has
         DGGLQJ D VLJQ XVLQJ ODQJXDJH GUDIWHG E\ WKH 0RQWDQD   no choice other than to remove it because it would
         +LVWRULFDO  6RFLHW\  FRQWDLQLQJ  D  GLVFODLPHU  DERXW  WKH   probably become a target for vandalism. The time for
         .X .OX[ .ODQ DQG ZKLWH VXSUHPDF\                   interpreting it has probably passed.”

           ,Q $XJXVW       LQ WKH ZDNH RI WKH      8QLWH WKH   0RQWDQD  3UHVHUYDWLRQ $OOLDQFH  ([HFXWLYH  'LUHFWRU
         5LJKW  UDOO\  LQ  &KDUORWWHVYLOOH   9LUJLQLD   PHPEHUV  RI  &KHUH  -LXVWR  VDLG  WKH  IRXQWDLQ  LVVXH  LV  D  “hard
         WKH  1DWLYH  $PHULFDQ  FDXFXV  LQ  WKH  0RQWDQD  +RXVH  topic, because there’s so much history of suৼ ering
         RI 5HSUHVHQWDWLYHV DQG WKH 0RQWDQD 6HQDWH DVNHG WKH  and injustice.” “We do support re-examining the
         &LW\ RI +HOHQD WR UHPRYH WKH VWDWXH LQ D OHWWHU  $V D  monuments and those icons that somehow memorialize
         UHVXOW   WKH  FLW\  FRPPLVVLRQ  DVNHG  WKH  FLW\  PDQDJHU   the unfairness of our history,” VKH VDLG  “We also feel
         5RQ $OOHV  UHPRYH WKH IRXQWDLQ                     that it’s important not to just make them go away, but
                                                            to place them in a setting where people can learn from
           %UXFH  :KLWWHQEHUJ   WKH  IRUPHU  SXEOLVKHU  RI  WKH  our history and what happened and ensure that as we
         ,QGHSHQGHQW 5HFRUG DQG WKH %LOOLQJV *D]HWWH ZKR LV  go forward that we all try hard never to carry those
         DOVR  WKH  GLUHFWRU  RI  WKH  0RQWDQD  +LVWRULFDO  6RFLHW\   kinds of attitudes and that kind of reality into the future
         DUJXHG WKDW WKH IRXQWDLQ VKRXOG QRW EH UHPRYHG  DV LW  for our kids or our future generations.”
         FRXOG EH XVHG “as a teachable moment.”
                                                              “I’m just deeply troubled by what’s going on in the
           3DP  $WWDUGR   /HZLV  DQG  &ODUN  &RXQW\¶V  KLVWRULF  country today, and the fountain’s a part of it,” +HOHQD
         SUHVHUYDWLRQ  R൶  FHU   REMHFWHG  WR  WKH  UHPRYDO  DQG  0D\RU -LP 6PLWK VDLG EHIRUH WKH PHHWLQJ
         DUJXHG WKDW WKH IRXQWDLQ ZDV QRW “a symbol of hatred
         itself”  DV  RSSRVHG  WR  WKH  &RQIHGHUDWH  À DJ   &KHUH   *RY  6WHYH %XOORFN WROG 0RQWDQD 3XEOLF 5DGLR WKDW
         -LXVWR  WKH H[HFXWLYH GLUHFWRU RI 0RQWDQD 3UHVHUYDWLRQ  WKH IRXQWDLQ ZDV D FLW\ LVVXH  QRW D VWDWH LVVXH  “Whether
         $OOLDQFH  VXJJHVWHG LW VKRXOG EH PRYHG WR “a setting  it’s ripped out and put in a museum or left with a sign
         where people can learn from our history.”          clearly explaining how and why that fountain was
                                                            erected a century ago, what’s important is that in 2017
           7KH +HOHQD &LW\ &RPPLVVLRQ DJUHHG RQ :HGQHVGD\   it’s clear we as Montanans do not glorify some of the
         $XJXVW   WK  DQG DFWHG VZLIWO\ WR XSURRW WKH IRXQWDLQ  darkest chapters of our past or tolerate the hate and
         IURP  WKH  SDUN  MXVW  WZR  EORFNV  IURP  &LW\  +DOO   &LW\  racism that a small fringe of our society continues to
         3DUNV DQG 5HFUHDWLRQ 'LUHFWRU $P\ 7HHJDUGHQ VDLG WKH  spew,” %XOORFN VDLG
         IRXQWDLQ LQLWLDOO\ ZLOO EH VWRUHG LQ D FLW\ ZDUHKRXVH
           “Our intention is to remove it in such a way that   &RQFHUQLQJ WKH ORFDO DQG QDWLRQDO XUJH WR SXUJH WKH
         the fountain, and its pieces, can remain intact and be  QDWLRQ RI ³&RQIHGHUDWH´ DQG RWKHU R൵ HQGLQJ PHPRULDOV
         reassembled at a future date,” 7HHJDUGHQ VDLG      DQRWKHU SRLQW RI YHLZ PLJKW EH VHHQ LQ WKH IROORZLQJ
         3DJH
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