In recent years, there have been many discussions between people, requesting for the removal, relocation, or replacement of monuments which represent confederate officials from the civil war. This has lead to a wide number of offensive and racist comments made by people using social media. These monuments show us an invaluable side of history, in that there are good men on both sides of history, but our monuments of today cannot honor the side which ultimately was found to be ruthless. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish: a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” – President Abraham Lincoln
In regard to the confederate monuments that are placed as ‘historical’ sites, I believe they should be removed from their current location, and placed somewhere else, because their public display can intimidate those who are burdened by that system. This would be like having a Nazi monument in a Jewish neighborhood in Germany. It hurts the people who live amongst them, and ultimately, it’s up to the people of the land to decide what monuments they should display. I do agree the monuments are history, but to some extent. Like other people, I suspect that the monuments don’t represent the history of what actually happened. I believe the monuments are an attempt to block the real history and rewrite it as something it was not, while some people think the complete opposite. They think the monuments should be left as a piece of history that can be seen for future generations, honoring the confederate Generals.
People should be more aware of the truth that is behind this facade. Although there is conflict on both sides, many people need to comprehend that everyone has their own thoughts and opinions about the meaning of the monuments, and whether they should be removed or left alone. Destroying the monuments can cause greater issues because it is technically still history, so demolishing them could be like extinguishing history itself. By the words of George W. Bush himself, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” On the contrary side, they should not be destroyed. Many confederate generals openly disagreed with slavery, but today it is almost impossible for us to understand how fixed slavery and the southern economy were. There were many good men amongst the confederates, and no establishment or group, no matter how corrupt their beliefs, is composed of all bad men. Basically, there were good men in bad groups, and they should be remembered. If the monuments were to get replaced, It would make sense to put up a civil war hero from the south that we can remember for being on the right side of history. We can research an underground railroad operator, or someone else who risked their livelihoods to see their fellow man enter freedom, and into a better life. This would be the best candidate to replace the past monument, bringing recognition to heroes of history who would most likely be unnoticed.
The best way to handle the issue of ‘immoral monuments’ is to replace the old, but not to destroy them. While people on the right side of history do deserve the spotlight and displays in public parks, and in other areas, the old monuments can still be of the good men caught on the wrong side of history. We are all brainwashed since birth by what is ‘normal’ for our society. Sometimes good men are born into immoral societies, but they still deserve to be remembered regardless. “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.” A quote from Nelson Mandela, restated in Mayor Landrieu’s speech. This quote gives an understanding that although the past was a horrible point in time where people often made mistakes, the change we make today is what matters. The dark history does not have to define us as a whole, but it can set forth the mistakes that we can now prevent from happening in future years.
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