The Presence of Absence

Garrick Sapp at Trudge to Truth
2 min readNov 21, 2023

The destruction of historic artifacts of the Antebellum South and the Confederacy is the aim of those in the central government. Take a recent U.S. Commission on Fine Arts meeting as still more evidence. Their charter was to review and comment on the removal of the Confederate Memorial from Arlington National Cemetery.

Commission member James C. McCrery, II summed up the majority view of the commission.

“If you are going to remove part of it, you should remove all of it.”

The members of the Naming Commission are kicking themselves. They only specified the removal of the bronze elements. Ty and his gang are not as smart as McCrery and the fine arts folks. McCrery was clearly prepared for the meeting, and he laid out the rationale for removing the granite base.

“What you are leaving is the mark of something that’s been removed, which raises the question, what has been removed? Which raises potentially the didactic discussion or debate in other words, of the legitimacy of removing that which you are committed to remove.”

He is right and this shows the commitment to the objective. Do not leave any possibility of the actions of the present being questioned in the future. The aim is destruction. He also challenged the Arlington National Cemetery representative when she mentioned plans for some kind of interpretation for the granite plinth. She waffled and another commissioner rescued her.

According to McCrery, the Presence of Absence is the art philosophical foundation for this thinking. There is some power in the notion. Think of people who lose children and can’t bear to see objects that remind them of their loss. A toy or trophy being present reminds them of the absence.

While McCrery is smart, he is not well informed. He called Moses Ezekiel a non-combatant. It was not clear what difference it made but he said it. What is clear is that within the United States Government there is unanimity that the South should not be part of the American story. Do with that what you will.



Garrick Sapp at Trudge to Truth

Career consultant turned substitute teacher and writer. I enjoy the outdoors and poker.