As a longtime advocate and
supporter of equal rights for all, I find myself in what may seem to be an ironic position. There has been a rise recently in demands to take down the statues that appear to praise the Confederacy. I am opposed to that for three main reasons:
uFirst, I agree with philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
uSecond, it does a disservice to those who suffered under the harsh life of slavery in the Confederacy to wipe out that part of our history.
uThird, it sets a destructive precedent.
Instead, it seems it would be good to erect a noticeable, prominent piece in the same area as the existing statues. This new piece could be abstract in nature or a statue of specific civil rights advocates. Also, adding an informative plaque regarding the period of history depicted could bring to light some of the injustices suffered and some of the opposition campaigns that occurred. This approach has evidently succeeded in Richmond, Va., along their Monument Avenue.
Such an alternative would recognize the past, both flaws and challenges, educate viewers and pay tribute to deserving historic figures of our nation.