Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Statues Should Stay Up


During the ongoing debate regarding the removal of the monuments honoring Confederate Generals, those in support of the statues often say in defense, “The statues are part of America’s history; we need to learn from history.”

While this statement is of course true, I do not believe it is appropriate in this context, as “learning from history” is synonymous with “learning from our mistakes.” A more accurate (though accidental) translation would be, “We need to keep Robert E Lee’s statues up because he was a bigot who fought to keep Blacks enslaved… and we need to learn from our mistakes.”

General Lee’s life was not a “mistake to learn from.” The lives of the vast majority of the Confederate Generals were not a “mistake to learn from.” The statues commemorating their lives are a positive thing.

Why would I make such a claim?

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  1. Anything commemorating the civil war is about half sacred in my book. Hundreds of thousands of lives were given up in that conflict and what those men and women did is nothing to forget about or make little of. Just think also of the grief of families who lost their loved ones in that war. That grief also contributes to the sacredness of the symbols and statues.

  2. We live in an age where emotions rule. If speech / lack of speech is now violence, then statues are MOAB on the fragile psyches of our snowflake generations.