A Change in Perspective: Removal of Historical Monuments(OPINION)
The recent events involving the death of George Floyd and the protest and riots that followed have forced us all to look at ourselves. Look at how we see each other and now, maybe, try to understand the viewpoints of others. It’s no secret that a lot of things have been shared and said during this time. One thing, however, gave me a bit of a gut-check. It’s when I saw a story talking about removing Confederate monuments.
Let me start by saying that I am a huge history buff. Especially when it comes to American history. As I’ve grown up the debate that has become more prevalent is whether or not Confederate monuments have a place in today’s society. A younger me would have said yes and that by removing these statues and monuments you were doing a disservice to history. Now, I’m not so sure.
This internal conflict started when I saw a statue that stands in the front of a courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana. It reads “The South’s defenders 1861-1865 our heroes”. The “our heroes” part really hit home for me. Now, imagine being an African American and reading that. Seeing those that fought to keep slavery intact as “heroes” is a bit unnerving. To be fair, they did fight for what they believed in. Which is admirable but doesn’t make it right.
The Civil War was fought over many different things. The nomination of President Abraham Lincoln, the issue of state’s rights, and so on. However, at the heart of it all lies slavery. This is the biggest black mark on American History. By having monuments and statues that glorify this on public grounds is a little off-putting. To put it lightly.
So, when I saw that different states across the south have had these certain monuments removed, I was taken back. I thought about how I looked at this subject before and didn’t like my old stance. I do, however, think that these items can find a home. Just not in the center of a courthouse. It’s more fitting for museums or private property. We need to have these as reminders of where America has come from. We shouldn’t forget the past but we also shouldn’t revel in it.
With several Confederate monuments still standing in Kentucky, this should hit home for a lot of us. Do these monuments still need to stand or should they be moved elsewhere? To finish here, I know I am not the leading authority on any of this. This subject is something where I used to feel one way but now, I feel another. Find something that puts things in perspective for you. It may be something similar to this it may be totally different. Either way, we all need to stop and think. Think for yourself and think of others.