I’m going to share an opinion with everyone. I’m sure it will be unpopular with some, and that’s OK, part of what makes America great is we are all entitled to our opinion, no matter how wrong others feel it may be. It’s a long post, you have been warned.
I don’t feel that we should be tearing down or destroying all the confederate statues and monuments, not because I believe in what they stand for, or the people they depict/represent. I feel this way because they are part of our history, no matter how good or bad, they are part of the story of America. Our past is riddled with things that we should be proud of, as well as things we shouldn’t be proud of. We have stumbled, we have made mistakes, we have totally dropped the ball; but we have also made great strides, built up what was at points the pinnacle of human endeavor, and made fantastic contributions to the world.
Removing our history is akin to being revisionist. Removing all traces of our past, no matter how bleak, wrong, or repugnant it may be will only strike it from memory and doom us to repeat it. I acknowledge that there are many statues and monuments that have been built to honor people, whom upon reflection, are less than stellar examples of the ideals set forth by our forefathers. There are also many more that do depict those that we should hold in highest regard. If we are going to start removing the bits of our past that we find ugly, than we also need to remove the parts that are pretty, shiny, and bright, because both sides are who we are, or who we were.
I suggest that these monuments not be destroyed, but rather I think we should build monuments for the opposing viewpoint next to them. For example how about this: for every Robert E. Lee statue, we put up one of Ulysses S. Grant, right next to it, with a plaque to describe why it is there. This way we can see both sides of our history, and while we may not be proud of some aspects of it, it is a part of every single one of us.
I know this may seem like a radically moderate view point, but that’s because it is radical. In a time when you are either on the right or on the left, we need more people who are more centered. Both sides have gotten so extreme that they don’t realize that they have essentially become the same. I know there is a lot of hate and vitriol in our present environment. It may really only be a small but overly vocal minority on either side, however it sure doesn’t feel that way. It feels like we are living in a fractured country. A country where your either one of those or one of them. Whatever happened to everyone being one of us? Whatever happened to “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union” America? There is an ever growing feeling of dread, an impending doom that seems to be lurking overhead, just out of the line of sight, but ever present. Everyday it seems we wake to a new scandal, a new breaking issue, or a new problem. Perhaps it’s just me, perhaps it my need for a sense of nostalgia, for a time when America was the “Greatest Nation”. Whatever it is, I want our country back, the one where anyone who came here was welcome, where if you worked hared and put in your due, you could make it; you could be anyone or anything you wanted.
I miss the United We Stand version of America.
So that’s it. my $0.02 on the state of things right now, If you stuck with the post this far, then I know that there is some hope for society. I’d be happy to hear what you think of my opinion, just please keep it civil.