As a long­time ad­vo­cate and

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Tuc­son Kather­ine Conover

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.

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