Madison Ald. Matt Phair: ‘Whatever’

Ald. Phair’s virtue is far superior to the one-armed veterans of the Union cause
who shed blood so that all Americans could be free

A Madison citizen e-mailed Ald. Matt Phair, urging that the memorial stone to the Madison woman who cared for the graves at Confederate Rest cemetery not be removed. The following exchange of e-mails captures the virtue-signaling arrogance of an alder blithely insouciant to the history of the city he governs.

Paula Fitzsimmons to Ald. Phair: I urge you not to dishonor the memory of the veterans who fought in the Civil War, many of whom fought to end slavery. I have an idea: Instead of attempting to destroy symbols of history, why not utilize your resources to educate people on the good that was done during this and other periods? 

I’ve been learning a lot about my Polish history, including the fact that revolutionaries from Poland who came here worked to free and educate the slaves (prior to the Civil War). Most people don’t know this, but are astounded when they find out. I’m also certain most aren’t aware of the selfless efforts made by those during the Civil War.

Focusing on the good is cheaper and more effective — and it will do more to bridge gaps than wasting money on tearing down monuments.

It’s disconcerting that the City has money for things like tearing down monuments and expensive police studies, but is “broke” when it comes to things like funding more police officers (thanks for funding the eight, however!) and creating cement barriers to protect us from extremists who drive into crowds.


Ald. Phair responds to Paula Fitzsimmons:

Phair

Ald. Phair

Thank you for your  email. I cannot speak for how my colleagues on the Council came to their conclusion to vote for removing the marker but I will attempt to explain mine. My reasoning was quite basic, actually. The marker in question was erected in the very beginning of the 20th Century by a woman who was a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was/is a group that was formed in 1894 as part of the larger “lost cause” movement with the goal of glorifying not only the men who fought for the Confederacy but the cause itself. It was a white supremacist organization, plain and simple. It, and other groups associated with the lost cause movement, began re-litigating the Civil War by arguing that it wasn’t really about slavery but instead was about secession and states’ rights. This, while states were wanting the “right” to uphold their Jim Crow laws; laws that didn’t allow blacks to vote, have equal access to education, housing, etc. These Lost Cause organizations held parades, put up monuments, markers and museums around the country to perpetuate this terrible legacy. Forest Hill Cemetery became a small part in a much larger campaign. 

So, for the simple reason that the marker was put up as a symbol of white supremacy I supported it being removed. The gravestones are still in place and Madison Parks has a registry of the names of the POWs who rest there. If at some point in the future, the City would like to re-engrave them (they are pretty faded at this point), there is nothing that says that couldn’t happen. I don’t believe anyone wishes to desecrate or erase the names of the young men who died at Camp Randall, just the ugly, revisionist history of white supremacy that has a lasting legacy on our country, state and city.


Your Bloggeur responded to Ald. Phair: Paula was kind enough to share your response with me. Five points of history:

1) Undoubtedly, the Daughters of the Confederacy took a more benign view of their fathers’ and brothers’ role in the Civil War than we do today. However, they were hardly the KKK.

2) The Wisconsin veterans of the Union cause in the same generation — men who had fought to preserve the Union and had shed blood to end slavery — asked their former adversaries in the South to finance the very monument you want removed. (More here.)

3) The stone is more a memorial to a Madison resident named Alice Whiting Waterman who, at first single-handedly and then with the cooperation of Wisconsin governors, both generals in the Union cause, helped her maintain Confederates Rest. (Those generals/governors being Lucius Fairchild, who lost an arm at Gettysburg, and Cadwallader Washburn, who served at Vicksburg under Grant.)

4) The stone is inscribed, simply: “Erected in loving memory by United Daughters of Confederacy to Alice Whiting Waterman and her boys.” That’s it. No rewrite of history. No lost cause nostalgia. No justification for slavery. No triumphant Confederate general brandishing a sword. 

5) The stone was the first permanent accounting of the names of the dead and — 112 years later — is itself part of history. It should also be remembered that most of the monuments one sees relating to the Civil War — North and South — were erected during this period, as those who fought were old men. That holds for the many monuments one sees today at Vicksburg and Gettysburg and in courthouse squares across the nation.


Ald. Phair to Your Bloggeur: Of course she was [nice enough to share my response, presumably].


Your Bloggeur to Ald. Phair: No defense of your position?


A second response from Your Bloggeur to Ald. Phair: Do you have both of your arms, Matt? Did you shed blood in the fight to end slavery and preserve the Union? Did you witness your comrades, boys from your hometown, get mowed down by grape canister and minnie balls? By what self-administered dispensation to you presume to hold moral superiority over the one-armed survivors of the Union cause who lobbied for and helped dedicate the monument at Confederates Rest?


Ald. Phair to Your Bloggeur: Whatever David.


Whatever! That’s his answer?

Blaska’s Bottom Line: By Phair’s logic, we should rename Wilson Street, which bounds the City-County Building. It’s named after the racist president Woodrow Wilson. [CORRECTION: Actually, Constitution-signer James Wilson of Pennsylvania.] Woodrow Wilson was “extremely racist, even by the standards of his time.” Wilson re-segregated the federal workforce and promoted the racist 1915 movie, Birth of a Nation, credited with stoking the fires of the Ku Klux Klan. Helzz Bellzz, the movie actually quoted Wilson in defense of the Klan.

ww_kkk

Title card from Birth of a Nation. It left out some of the first sentence, which read in full: “The white men of the South were aroused by the mere instinct of self-preservation to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes and conducted in the interest of adventurers, until at last …”


Named slave ownerTell the Madison Council not to dishonor the Civil War veterans on both sides who buried their hatred on this northern soil. E-mail all 20 Madison Alders. The council meets 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1.


 

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About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Confederate Rest, identity politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Madison Ald. Matt Phair: ‘Whatever’

  1. madisonexpat says:

    The Democratic Party was a white supremacist organization for many years. Should it be disbanded?

    Like

  2. Marge Bils says:

    As you pointed out in your research Daughters of the Confederacy paid for the cost of the monument, that’s all. I wrote to my alder Alder Cheeks. I wonder what his response will be?

    Like

  3. Dave,
    Alderman Phair thoughts are final “…and, as such, is beyond contestation” similar to most of the closed minded political left. How dare you challenge the statements of a fine upstanding social justice warrior like Alderman Phair.

    Personally I think it’s obvious that Alderman Phair was way out of his intellectual league trying to defend his ignorant position and blew you off. After all your challenge to his words didn’t pass the Liberal Purity Test and therefore were not worthy of retort.

    Like

  4. Tom Paine says:

    OMG…hair on fire. We are not destroying “White Supremacy” unless all references to Confederate PoW’s are banished from the Tribe of Dane. And to think, if only the Huron’s had defeated the English and French colonists, white supremacy would have been stopped on its Manifest Westward march. Colonialism, in large measure the vehicle for the spread of black slavery, would have been arrested.

    Recalling Rousseau: So long as men remained content with their rustic huts, so long as they were satisfied with clothes made of the skins of animals and sewn together with thorns … and to make with sharp-edged stones fishing boats or clumsy musical instruments; in a word, so long as they undertook only what a single person could accomplish, and confined themselves to such arts as did not require the joint labour of several hands, they lived free, healthy, honest and happy lives, so long as their nature allowed… But from the moment one man began to stand in need of the help of another; from the moment it appeared advantageous to any one man to have enough provisions for two, equality disappeared, property was introduced, work became indispensable, and vast forests became smiling fields, which man had to water with the sweat of his brow, and where slavery and misery were soon seen to germinate and grow up with the crops.

    If only the Huron’s had prevailed against white supremacists like Étienne Brûlé, how much future misery could have been avoided; how many black tribes in Africa would have been prevented from selling their brothers and sisters. If only the Huron’s had done more., Yes, they killed and ate Étienne Brûlé, but it was not enough.

    ps…we must encourage better attendance. Last week, only 211 attended the self-flagellation lab in the casino parking lot.

    Like

  5. Wadwizard says:

    History is in the past, and can rightfully be judged only there and by those who lived and experienced it.

    Like

  6. Proud American says:

    My ancestors have been here since the 1600s, have fought in every war since, including the Civil War for North and South. I’m proud of all of them, and Look with scorn upon modern day self-righteous practitioners of presentism. Bah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paula Fitz says:

      Impressive. I haven’t met too many Americans whose history reaches that far back. My grandparents came here at the turn of the 20th century.

      Like

    • Proud American wrote, “My ancestors have been here since the 1600s, have fought in every war since, including the Civil War for North and South. I’m proud of all of them, and Look with scorn upon modern day self-righteous practitioners of presentism.”

      My family too.

      Thank you for the sacrifices your family has made over the years for the United States of America.

      Like

  7. Pingback: Mayor Soglin, Ald. Phair: tear down that racist street sign! | Stately Blaska Manor

  8. AnonyBob says:

    So Dave, I notice the blog post of outrage following this one about renaming Wilson St. immediately disappeared after I pointed out to you that Wilson Street is not named after Woodrow Wilson, but after a signer of the Constitution. Guess you better delete that Blaska’s Bottom Line above, too. Sad day when a former professional journalist is called out for lack of fact checking.
    Try again, oh Angry White Males.

    Like

    • AnonyBob says:

      Upon further reflection, I offer you kudos for removing a post based on a faulty premise/misperception. I wish more around here showed such integrity.

      Like

    • AnonyBob wrote, “So Dave, I notice the blog post of outrage following this one about renaming Wilson St. immediately disappeared after I pointed out to you that Wilson Street is not named after Woodrow Wilson, but after a signer of the Constitution. Guess you better delete that Blaska’s Bottom Line above, too. Sad day when a former professional journalist is called out for lack of fact checking. Try again, oh Angry White Males.”

      On any blog I have ever read, an immature back-stabbing comment like this one devoid of adult maturity would earn the writer being permanently banned. AnonyBob needs to publicly apologize for this immature back-stabbing.

      AnonyBob wrote, “I offer you kudos for removing a post based on a faulty premise/misperception. I wish more around here showed such integrity.”

      This is the only thing a mature adult should have written; so what mature adult did you hire to write it for you AnonyBob?

      Like

    • @AnonyBob;

      “I offer you kudos for removing a post based on a faulty premise/misperception.”

      The first rule of Lefty Club? You do not talk about Lefty Club rules!

      I submit that the Humble Squire has every right to be triggered by a name, regardless of it being tethered to a fact-based reality.

      And what’s in a name? For the positively priceless answer to that, let’s toss it over to perpetually aggrieved Lefty snowFLAKE Lebanon Valley (PA) College students.

      Please recall in December of 2015, they sought to get Lynch Memorial Hall renamed because it had a name that, if (while whimpering inconsolably) you squinted through reality-filtering Industrial-Strength-Thickened-Weapons-Grade-Hardened ideological blinders, was real REAL hurtful!

      ”The facility is named after Dr. Clyde Lynch, who was president of the Pennsylvania college from 1932 to 1950. But students say the word ‘lynch’ has negative racial connotations and is upsetting to black students.”

      http://reason.com/blog/2015/12/09/triggered-students-want-a-building-renam

      The humanity!

      Anywho, funniest thing; when reminded that Hopey Changey’s AG’s last name was the same as that of the good Dr., their default Lefty defense mechanism ( the glassy eyin’ lock-steppin’ unquestionin’ 1000 yard stare) kicked in to warp speed.

      “Try again, oh Angry White Males.”

      Even coming from a self-hating Whitie, isn’t that raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist?

      ”I wish more around here showed such integrity.”

      Physician, heal thyself!

      The Gotch

      Like

    • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

      @AnonyBob;

      “I offer you kudos for removing a post based on a faulty premise/misperception.”

      Faulty premise/misperception? I submit that the Humble Squire had/has every right to be triggered by a name.

      The actual person whose name is referenced is of no concern, they need only channel their inner Lefty in order to be micro-aggressed.

      Just squint through factory-installed reality-filtering Industrial-Strength-Thickened-Weapons-Grade-Hardened ideological blinders and the inconsequential becomes a matter of grave, albeit manufactured, offense.

      Recall in December 2015 when some perpetually aggrieved snowFLAKE Lebanon Valley(PA) College students, emboldened by an overpowering “Gosh I’m WOKE” endorphin surge, sought to change the name of the Lynch Memorial Hall?

      “The facility is named after Dr. Clyde Lynch, who was president of the Pennsylvania college from 1932 to 1950. But students say the word ‘lynch’ has negative racial connotations and is upsetting to black students.”

      http://reason.com/blog/2015/12/09/triggered-students-want-a-building-renam

      What happened when these hothouse flowers were reminded that Hopey Changey’s AG’s last name was identical to that of the good Doctor, the one that had them suffering from the virulently violent vapors? They assumed the default Lefty defense mechanism/survival technique: a lock-steppin’ glassy-eyin’ unquestionin’ 1000 yard stare.

      ”Try again, oh Angry White Males.”

      Even from a self-hating Whitie, isn’t that raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist?

      “I wish more around here showed such integrity.”

      Physician, heal thyself!

      The Gotch

      Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Nothing you makes a shred of sense.

        Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Nothing you said makes a shred of sense. (Jeeze, ABob, proofread!)

        Like

        • AnonyBob wrote, “Nothing you said makes a shred of sense.”

          You lacking the ability to “get” what Gotch writes does not mean that it doesn’t make sense.

          “Cornelius_Gotchberg is ‘the’ professor at The Gotch Academy; he is the architect of Shakespearean stylized rhetorical ‘poetries’ endeavoring to school others on topics closely related to current events; either you get the style of writing or you don’t.” The Gotch Academy

          Like

      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        @AnonyBob;

        “Nothing you said makes a shred of sense.”

        Miiiiiiiight just be more a shortcoming of the reader than the writer.

        The Gotch

        Like

  9. Paula Fitz says:

    FYI: I wrote all alders, and Phair was the only respondent. My own alder (Cheeks) has not replied.

    Like

    • richard lesiak says:

      I wondered about the same thing. There’s 20 alders. Why the hit job on Phair? If he was the only one to respond to you it could mean he’s not afraid of a fight over what his views are. Just sayin’.

      Like

      • richard lesiak wrote, “There’s 20 alders. Why the hit job on Phair?”

        This is a variation of rationalizations #1 and #2 on the list of Unethical Rationalizations and Misconceptions.

        richard lesiak wrote, ” If he was the only one to respond to you it could mean he’s not afraid of a fight over what his views are. Just sayin’.”

        This is a variation of rationalization #14 on the list of Unethical Rationalizations and Misconceptions. The fact that Alderman Phair responded does not make his views right or ethical?

        Like

      • richard lesiak says:

        Typical Gotch response. I asked a simple question, why the hit job. No answer; just a bunch of BS. I didn’t say if he was right or wrong, just that he made a stand and publicly made his views known. As usual; no answers, just attacks.

        Like

        • richard lesiak wrote, “Typical Gotch response.”

          Interesting comparison, delusional but interesting. I’ll take that comparison as a personal complement because Gotch has a creative and colorful writing style that I’ll never acquire.

          richard lesiak wrote, “I asked a simple question, why the hit job. No answer; just a bunch of BS.”

          If you want to know why the hit job, it’s a rather simple thing for a mature adult to read the other comments in this thread and derive the answers to the why question you’re looking for, there is absolutely no need for duplication.

          Your comment was an unethical rationalization that needed to be addressed and you turning around and attacking the messenger is prove positive of your immature argumentation skills and poor character.

          richard lesiak wrote, “I didn’t say if he was right or wrong, just that he made a stand and publicly made his views known.”

          The underlying implication was there. The underlying implication was built on the fact that the others did not reply and therefore deserve scorn for their lack of standing up for their views (usually not replying to what might appear as emails trolling for arguments is the right thing for a politician to do) and thus that implication was presented to justify any response by Alderman Phair. You have absolutely no idea why the others did not respond, and using that as an implied attack on their character and to elevate the one who did reply is unethical BS.

          richard lesiak wrote, “As usual; no answers, just attacks.”

          No one attacked you buttercup. You made the choice to use rationalizations as your argument and that choice has consequences.

          Like

      • Cornelius Gotchberg says:

        @richard lesiak;

        “Typical Gotch response.”

        What?? Where???

        The Gotch

        Like

  10. Alderman Phair I know you’re reading this; it’s my opinion that you’re acting like an unethical fool that’s using rationalizations to justify your social justice warrior BS. Your actions are pandering to social justice warriors who are blithering idiots and enabling their unethical behavior to continue.

    Since I’m absolutely certain that you don’t have a clue what an unethical rationalization is, here’s a handy link to a great list of Unethical Rationalizations & Misconceptions. You might want to also browse the Virtues, Values, and Duties list that’s a link available under the Rule Book Menu on the top left.

    Have a nice day Alderman Phair.

    Like

    • AnonyBob says:

      I am confident Ald. Phair will give your comments all the consideration they’re due. Are you a constituent?

      Like

      • AnonyBob wrote, “Are you a constituent?”

        Irrelevant and none of your business.

        Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Then you will be ignored, as you should be.

        Like

        • AnonyBob wrote, “Then you will be ignored, as you should be.”

          Let’s apply AnonyBob’s version of “logic”.

          AnonyBob is obviously to immature and ignorant to be old enough to be any politicians’ constituent therefore AnonyBob should be ignored by all politicians.

          P.S. Since Alderman Phair was way out of his intellectual league and couldn’t defend his ignorant position in a private email conversation with David Blaska then Alderman Phair certainly doesn’t have the intellectual fortitude to openly debate his views in a public forum such as this blog where people will directly challenge him. It’s pretty easy to point out those who appear to be intellectual cowards as soon as they run for the hills after being challenged with reality.

          Like

  11. AnonyBob says:

    Jeebus! None of you guys seem to have any idea how elected officials function. They are elected by a constituency and are answerable only to that constituency. They will usually answer communications only from their own constituents. PF wrote all the alders; hers did not respond and deserves criticism for that. The fact the none of the others did should be no surprise. The grief Phair is now facing is a good example of why they usually don’t communicate with non-constituents.

    Like

    • madisonexpat says:

      No Phair.

      Like

    • AnonyBob wrote, “None of you guys seem to have any idea how elected officials function.”

      I curious who you include in that grouping of “you guys”. How about you provide a list or are you going to leave it open ended to anyone you disagree with?

      Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Directed at anyone confused by why alders don’t respond to all communiques.

        Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Seems like a clear answer. Anything to offer beyond insults?

        Like

      • richard lesiak says:

        You still didn’t answer my question; why Phair. Don’t tell me to go through all the comments and figure it out, I asked for a direct simple answer from you. One that you seem to be unable to provide.

        Like

        • David Blaska says:

          Why Phair? Because he was Thair.

          Like

        • There needs to be a progression of events posted that shows everyone here that Richard Lesiak is a lying troll. Here’s the facts of the progression…

          (There are time stamps on every comment making the timeline easy to put together.)

          Paula Fitz wrote April 28, 2018 at 4:58 am “FYI: I wrote all alders, and Phair was the only respondent. My own alder (Cheeks) has not replied.

          Directly below Paula’s comment I posted…

          I wrote April 28, 2018 at 8:34 am“Alderman Phair I know you’re reading this; it’s my opinion that you’re acting like an unethical fool that’s using rationalizations to justify your social justice warrior BS. Your actions are pandering to social justice warriors who are blithering idiots and enabling their unethical behavior to continue.

          Since I’m absolutely certain that you don’t have a clue what an unethical rationalization is, here’s a handy link to a great list of Unethical Rationalizations & Misconceptions. You might want to also browse the Virtues, Values, and Duties list that’s a link available under the Rule Book Menu on the top left.

          Have a nice day Alderman Phair. “

          (NOTE: This preexisted and still exists as an explanation as to why there was a “hit job” on Alderman Phair and it was there before Richard asked his question. We can’t control the fact that Richard is too stupid to read the comments that are staring him in the face.)

          …45 minutes after I posted that comment Richard posted this…

          richard lesiak wrote April 28, 2018 at 9:14 am, “I wondered about the same thing. There’s 20 alders. Why the hit job on Phair? If he was the only one to respond to you it could mean he’s not afraid of a fight over what his views are. Just sayin’.”

          The comment I posted at April 28, 2018 at 9:47 am in reply to Richards is where I pointed out his rationalizations, you can read it above. Then Richard replied in part…

          richard lesiak wrote April 28, 2018 at 10:41 am
          “I asked a simple question, why the hit job. No answer; just a bunch of BS.”, “As usual; no answers, just attacks.”

          (FYI: Pointing out unethical rationalizations is not BS.)

          I replied to Richard’s comment in part…

          I wrote April 28, 2018 at 11:11 am “If you want to know why the hit job, it’s a rather simple thing for a mature adult to read the other comments in this thread and derive the answers to the why question you’re looking for, there is absolutely no need for duplication.”

          (Why would I tell him to read the other comments, well because my explanation that was perfectly satisfactory to answer h is question was still there literally right next to our conversation.)

          Now we see that Richard is back trolling in a different section of the thread with the following comment…

          richard lesiak wrote April 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm, “You still didn’t answer my question; why Phair. Don’t tell me to go through all the comments and figure it out, I asked for a direct simple answer from you. One that you seem to be unable to provide.”

          Now if any of you know how this commenting thread thing works, you know that before Richard Lesiak posted his original comment that I quoted at the top of this comment the comments posted by Paula Fitz and myself were literally next to each other. Yes folks, the explanation as to why there was a “hit job” on the Alderman was right there in little Richard’s face and he didn’t bother to read it.

          So it comes down to this Little Richard; I already provided you the answer, you’re just too much of an idiotic political hack and a troll to admit it. Your trolling lies and innuendo get an official “Bite Me” Richard.

          I have facts on my side and I know how to use them; Richard has trolling innuendo, lies, and BS on his side and he looks like a fool using them.

          Richard, If you want to join the big boys in intelligent adult conversations then you better bring your “A” game because your “T” (Troll) game isn’t going to cut it. I don’t take kindly to immature trolls; grow up and be an adult Richard.

          Richard has earned himself this coveted Gotch Academy Participation Certificate as evidence of his valued participation in this conversation.

          Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Squawkster, you need a life.

        Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Ya know Squeaks, some would consider the constant overuse of “troll” and “ad hominem” to be…ad hominem attacks. Ironic, no?

        Like

        • AnonyBob wroite, “Ya know Squeaks, some would consider the constant overuse of “troll” and “ad hominem” to be…ad hominem attacks. Ironic, no?”

          Ironic? Well actually “no” AnonyBob, not any more “ironic” than the use of any other noun. Ironic, not in the slightest.

          Do you even know what irony is AnonyBob?

          Like

    • richard lesiak says:

      Phair enough.

      Like

  12. Batman says:

    Ald. Phair cannot possibly defend leaving things the way they are.
    His dinner party invites would dry up and any gatherings he is allowed to attend would involve overt shunning or at the least subtle avoidance. Not good for the digestion and that is a helluva price to expect someone to pay for doing the right thing.
    If Phair reversed his position to remove the memorial stone, he would fully comprehend the true nature of his fellow SJWs.

    Like

  13. Eric Z says:

    “Irony, in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event in which what appears, on the surface, to be the case, differs radically from what is actually the case.”

    Zoltar complains about trolls by resorting to trolling.” Moron, idiot, imbecile…..” Nice intelligent discourse.

    Like

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