I may not have told my readers this, but I’m also a history buff and have strong opinions when it comes to revising history because it’s the thing to do at the time. I’m not a big fan of those people out there who are so ignorant of the facts that they feel compelled to tear down monuments from the past to suit their political agenda.
Yes, racism in all its forms and functions is ethically and morally reprehensible. My best friend, who is politically conservative, is with me on this too. But, to tear down monuments of Confederate soldiers and generals, or even our former presidents because they at one time held views that are not now mainstream is also ethically and morally wrong.
I can’t emphasize enough how damning it is to fall into a trap that is and always will be a method of censorship. Tearing down monuments of whomever because their belief system was counter to our more enlightened views is like burning books because they hold truths that we don’t believe in anymore. Creating history out of vapors isn’t history but fiction. Modern historians often are condemned as revisionists because their perspective of the past has fundamentally changed. An example of this is that of Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas. The truth of the whole thing was that she was but a child when they met and later married someone else, went to England where she died from Smallpox when she was 21.
I’m using two examples to show why I feel as I do toward removal of these statues; symbolisms of history, whether we like it or not, Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee. Lee himself opposed his image being used in such a manner, believing instead that the South needed to move forward following their defeat, but thanks to this lost cause ideology, those statues were built and placed in parks and other public places throughout the South. Jefferson Davis may have been but a brief footnote in history had it not been for this same group of Southern expatriates.
Rather than tear down monuments that represent our historical past, we should instead break down walls of misunderstanding and mistrust and build bridges to unify our country to our better angels. Or we too will be left with nothing to remind future generations of our collective history, right, wrong, or in-between.