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We could uproot the massive Confederate soldier monument on the prominent northeast corner of the state Capitol lawn. Then we could give it to those neo-Confederates who proclaimed their allegiance to it Saturday evening.

They could haul it to their private property and worship it there and leave the rest of us in peace.

Problem solved.

State legislators might then vote to replace the Johnny Reb structure with a monument honoring brave Japanese kamikaze pilots, or ISIS, or maybe Putin, perhaps with a monument that would join him with Donald Trump in a secret handshake.

Legislators could, in fact, designate that section of the Capitol lawn area as Enemies Corner.

If we're going to be so generous with our most prominent public property as to honor Confederate soldiers who rebelled against the greatest nation on Earth and took up arms against brave American servicemen who were fighting for freedom for real, then let's extend that generosity to other evil foes as well.

If the neo-Confederates take good care of the Johnny Reb structure, we could work the monument back into the Enemies Corner rotation after a few decades of what we can hope would encompass human evolution.

By the time the rotation came around, we would have established that this is the corner where we show how much better we are than the yahoos, racists, imperialists, terrorists and totalitarian communists--because we give them their token demonstration of pitiable folly, but only to enforce that racism is no longer embedded or systemic and our greatest sin, but such an anathema that it gets clumped on rotational display on Enemies Corner with imperialists, neo-Nazis, terrorists and totalitarian communists.

We would encounter no longer the kind of blundering Civil War re-

enactment occurring Saturday evening near the Confederate glorification.

A Black Lives Matter member put on social media midweek that he was calling all forces to the monument Saturday night to remove it, which was not possible. It's huge. It's lighted. It's guarded.

It's tragically protected by state law.

The first rule of vandalizing a statue is not to advertise days ahead of time. The second is not to schedule the activity for 6 p.m. on a city street.

The summoning was not really for the purpose of removing the statue, but to draw public attention to the anger and the cause. The ploy succeeded.

There are neo-Confederates who know how to navigate social media. They saw the plan and salivated at their own moment of attention. They rolled into Little Rock on Saturday to provide a pointless blockade outside the police fence that provided the real blockade.

The police, who also navigate social media, had it covered.

Authorities stationed themselves between the occasionally armed combatants--Confederates with their backs to Johnny Reb and Americans moving toward Johnny Reb.

Video showed one of the neo-Confederates leading a prayer affirming the group's Trump support and urging a peaceful demonstration making the case that only the Legislature should remove the statue.

But then, as the BLM group drew near, one of the neo-Confederates stepped out and screeched primitive and uncertain sounds, and there was tension.

If you didn't know better, you'd think these Black Lives Matter people are not tactically savvy and that the neo-Confederates are primitively irrational about protecting their ugly heritage.

The confrontation could have turned horrid. Everyone got lucky, this time.

Let us not forget that we'd experienced another little Civil War flare-up a few nights before. Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Inhofe was so silly. While in a restaurant, he put his phone on speaker during a call from Trump.

Somebody recorded it and got it to The New York Times. We heard Trump and Inhofe talking of trying to defeat congressional efforts to rename American military installations now honoring warring anti-Americans--meaning Confederate leaders.

It's odd to run for re-election in America by championing an American enemy. But Trump has now done it twice--Russia in '16 and the Confederacy this time.

Trump bragged to the Oklahoman that his tweet championing Rebel names on Army bases had received 95,000 "positive retweets."

That's all?

If he got 95,000 more votes than he got against Hillary Clinton last time, he'd still lose by nearly 3 million.

And, to tell the truth, there weren't enough numbers on either side at the little Civil War re-enactment Saturday at the state Capitol to warrant quite the attention I'm giving here.

I'm simply trying to give a helpful idea to beleaguered Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said that we need legislative authority to move this Confederate monument to a more appropriate place, and now has his base calling him a mask-dictating Democrat, which apparently is about as bad as a Yankee.

--–––––v–––––--

John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at [email protected] Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

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