“therefore inclined to “see only those who fought for slavery”
September 15, 2019 6:18 PM   Subscribe

 


Pulling a tactics straight out of the fifties, I see
posted by eustatic at 6:32 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Southern Fried Streisand Effect. Good work Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, descendant of slave owners!
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:45 PM on September 15, 2019 [55 favorites]


Every black child who is shot to death or pummeled — whether by civilians or by the police — and every black man who is choked to death by a police officer for selling loose cigarettes, and every black woman who is raped and killed in police custody is "historical evidence… a tangible connection to the past, a catalyst for memory.” We don't need the statues. And I dearly hope this scion of one of the FFVs is countersued into ruin.
posted by bryon at 6:47 PM on September 15, 2019 [31 favorites]


Filing a frivolous lawsuit with obvious chilling effects like this can and should be a criminal act.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:49 PM on September 15, 2019 [21 favorites]


I mean, everyone who knows anything about Tayloe knows that he's the descendent of slaveowners. He's FFV: being the descendent of slaveholders is their entire brand. He's not doing this because he's ashamed of his family history. He's doing this to punish a black woman whom he thinks has shown him insufficient deference.

I can't imagine that he has any chance of winning, and I hope he has to pay all the defendants' costs and about ten million dollars in damages.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:51 PM on September 15, 2019 [29 favorites]


The truth is an absolute defense against defamation. I don't think this is going to go as well for Edward Tayloe II, descendant and apologist of slavers, as he thinks.
posted by biogeo at 6:58 PM on September 15, 2019 [26 favorites]


He's like "we can't just ERASE history!... I mean... we can't erase all the statue history."
posted by captain afab at 6:59 PM on September 15, 2019 [15 favorites]


Southern Fried Streisand Effect. Good work Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, descendant of slave owners!

Oh you mean Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, apologist for traitors?
posted by tclark at 7:28 PM on September 15, 2019 [42 favorites]


So. . . if it's "defamation" to point out that he is a descendant of slave owners . . .
...then slave owning must be something to be ashamed of?

Then why would society want to HONOR slave owners with statues?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:37 PM on September 15, 2019 [62 favorites]


The point isn’t to win the lawsuit - that would just be gravy - it’s to tie up the defendants in litigation for months or years.
posted by um at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Bob, I think you’re ascribing better logic to Edward Dickinson Tayloe II (descendant of, benefiting from, and apologist for slavers) than he does himself. Doesn’t speak well of the descendants of traitors, of which Edward Dickinson Tayloe II is one, does it.
posted by Etrigan at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


For those who, like me, didn't grow up out here where the past refuses to die, FFV is First Families of Virginia.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:40 PM on September 15, 2019 [29 favorites]


Emboldened by the demise of Gawker, they are going to do this everywhere eventually. It's pure lawfare.
posted by hypnogogue at 9:02 PM on September 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


Doesn’t speak well of the descendants of traitors

I’m enjoying the digs being made at Edward Dickinson Tayloe II’s expense. Buuuuuut, anytime Americans make a big deal about the Confederates being traitors (as if that is the shameful flaw) a little impish part of me wants to remind them that George Washington was a traitor too (along with all the other British citizens on that side of the American Revolutionary War). What can I say, I’m descended from British Loyalists to the Crown who had to leave their homes and belongings and flee to Canada as refugees because of traitors. In the children’s books about that war that I grew up with the Revolutionaries were the baddies. 😉



Note: to be clear, I agree that the Confederates are the baddies. I just get a chuckle from the traitors angle.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:06 PM on September 15, 2019 [24 favorites]


Despite having grown up in Virginia and being aware that some people cleave to the FFV designation as if the serendipity of DNA is an indicator of personal worth, I had not previously known about Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, descendant of, benefiting from, and apologist for slavers, until this post. Thank you, Metafilter!
posted by sobell at 9:16 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


He's like "we can't just ERASE history!... I mean... we can't erase all the statue history."

When you ask these sorts of people if they object to statues of Lenin and Stalin being taken down in Eastern Europe during the last few decades, it also turns out that even statue history isn't so important, in general. Just, y'know, some specific statues.
posted by XMLicious at 9:27 PM on September 15, 2019 [15 favorites]


“anytime Americans make a big deal about the Confederates being traitors (as if that is the shameful flaw) a little impish part of me wants to remind them that George Washington was a traitor too”

That’s a fair point. How about this: the Confederates were also losers.
posted by adamrice at 9:29 PM on September 15, 2019 [38 favorites]


I don’t care that they were traitors or losers. Lots of admirable people have been both. I care that their entire society was based on owning people, and then they fought a whole terrible war to protect their right to own people, and then when they lost, they spent the next hundred-odd years fighting to oppress and subjugate the descendants of the people they tried to own. The problem with them wasn’t the treason or the losing. It was the slave-owning and the oppression. It still is the oppression.

And this dude is definitely proud of that whole ugly history. He just thinks that he’s entitled to ensure that people only talk about his family’s history in the ways that he authorizes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:48 PM on September 15, 2019 [77 favorites]


For those who, like me, didn't grow up out here where the past refuses to die, FFV is First Families of Virginia.

Yeah, I had to look it up the first time I listened to "The Lees of Old Virginia" from 1776.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:52 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Just before clicking the FFV link I imagined it being more like the first white families of Virgina. Turns out they're not even that - just like the "pretty early, rich, well-connected white families of Virginia".
posted by Harald74 at 11:11 PM on September 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


I got around to reading "Confederates In The Attic" finally, spurred by the author's recent death. In one chapter, he meets, in the 1990's, the leader of a sophisticated neo-Confederate movement, and describes how they adopt a stance of victimhood and cloak their message in the rhetoric of civil rights. So this kind of strategy has been being refined for a long time now.
posted by thelonius at 11:17 PM on September 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


I’m enjoying the digs being made at Edward Dickinson Tayloe II’s expense. Buuuuuut, anytime Americans make a big deal about the Confederates being traitors (as if that is the shameful flaw) a little impish part of me wants to remind them that George Washington was a traitor too (along with all the other British citizens on that side of the American Revolutionary War). What can I say, I’m descended from British Loyalists to the Crown who had to leave their homes and belongings and flee to Canada as refugees because of traitors. In the children’s books about that war that I grew up with the Revolutionaries were the baddies. 😉

Part of the point, here, is that their treason was in defense of slavery. Solely and exclusively. Crime against the country that confederate adherents generally claim to love more than anything, for the sake of preserving the most evil institution ever practiced by humanity.
posted by kafziel at 11:20 PM on September 15, 2019 [23 favorites]


Part of the point, here, is that their treason was in defense of slavery. Solely and exclusively. Crime against the country that confederate adherents generally claim to love more than anything, for the sake of preserving the most evil institution ever practiced by humanity.

Exactly. The treason and loser bit are not superfluous, they are both labels laser guided at two of the core hypocrises of confederate adherents and by extension many southern conservatives: the are anti-USA and weak losers within an ideology that claims ultimate patriotism and power through strength.

I grew up in the South and dear god I'm so glad I left. Things are not perfect anywhere but holy fuck the confederate fetishizing within the communities I was surrounded with in my youth is grotesque, and they have not gone anywhere.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:47 AM on September 16, 2019 [13 favorites]


Edward Dickinson Tayloe II: Electric Boogaloo
posted by scruss at 6:19 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


Doesn’t speak well of the descendants of traitors

I’m enjoying the digs being made at Edward Dickinson Tayloe II’s expense. Buuuuuut, anytime Americans make a big deal about the Confederates being traitors (as if that is the shameful flaw) a little impish part of me wants to remind them that George Washington was a traitor too (along with all the other British citizens on that side of the American Revolutionary War). What can I say, I’m descended from British Loyalists to the Crown who had to leave their homes and belongings and flee to Canada as refugees because of traitors. In the children’s books about that war that I grew up with the Revolutionaries were the baddies. 😉


Part of the "traitors" thing is to rile up those who conflate Confederate "patriotism" with the same towards the United States (Robert E. Lee killed far more Americans than the 9/11 hijackers). But another part is that their treason was a treason of values, too. The US was founded on the contradictory principles of "All Men are Created Equal" and the "Three-Fifths Clause," a tension that eventually found a breaking point in secession and civil war. Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the so-called CSA explained how "All Men Are Created Equal" was wrong:
[I]ts foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
Even British conservatives like Edmund Burke could see the philosophical validity to American Independence and did not consider it "treason." Not all independence movements are treasonous or a betrayal of trust. The Confederates of 1860-1865 (and all those neo-confederates since then), swore oath upon oath to the United States, but the moment they didn't get their way about where they could own other human beings, they attacked the same government and citizens of whose protection and allegiance they swore. They were the worst sort of traitors, traitors to oaths, traitors to morality, traitors to some of the few good shreds to the founding of the US.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:25 AM on September 16, 2019 [33 favorites]


Southern Fried Streisand Effect. Good work Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, descendant of slave owners!

We just moved to northern Virginia, and are learning more about the state's history. Thank you, Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, for bringing your family's history to our attention.
posted by doctornemo at 6:44 AM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


.... the moment they didn't get their way about where they could own other human beings, they attacked the same government and citizens of whose protection and allegiance they swore.

Preventing new territories and States from having slavery reduced the value of their property.
posted by thelonius at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2019 [6 favorites]


Edward Dickinson Tayloe II: Electric Boogaloo

Electric Boogaloe, surely?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:26 AM on September 16, 2019 [5 favorites]


Wait, are we talking about Edward Dickinson Tayloe II, descendant of traitorous slavers, of the Charlottesville, Virginia, traitorous slaveholders?
posted by kirkaracha at 8:54 AM on September 16, 2019 [9 favorites]




True story: when we had our son ~2 years ago we named him Jackson Traveler. The mrs. is from Bozeman, MT and I wanted to name him "Bridger" after the local mountain range, but she said everyone in Bozeman names their dogs Bridger so we weren't doing that. I loved the name Jackson as a tribute to the skiing hole in neighboring Wyoming, so we went with that.

A colleague of her proposed the unorthodox middle name of "Traveler" - we dated long distance across 4 different continents while she was living in Asia and I in Africa. We both love to travel and hope that it's a passion he will share with us. He got his first passport stamps before he turned 1.

Within 3 months of his birth, however, not one, but TWO different couples, on two completely separate occasions, exclaimed "Oh you mean Jackson like the great confederate general Stonewall? And Traveler like Robert E. Lee's horse? That's a great name." To which our collective north-western faces were SHOCKED as we said "No! Very much no." Apparently his is a very common southern name.

We didn't change it. But I suspect he'll have some explaining to do over the course of his life. Which we are fine with - hopefully with time these names can become known more for better people that should be celebrated with statues, rather than those responsible for such atrocities that shouldn't be so memorialized.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2019 [5 favorites]


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