Tear them down

Imagine someone proposing to put up a statue today of Benedict Arnold with a simple plaque that said ONLY “Benedict Arnold, Commander of the American Legion in the Revolutionary War, placed in command of the fort of West Point by President George Washington himself”, depicting Arnold nobly riding into the Battle of Groton Heights, sword in hand, steely look on his face, on his way to slaughter American troops.

Now imagine that the statue was proposed and paid for by “Sons of the British Empire”, a group of people who supported the British side of the war, wanted America to lose, and wanted to commemorate Arnold’s brave defection and support of the British army.

Imagine that the statue was to be placed on public lands and maintained with public funds, taxpayer money, in New London, Connecticut, on the site Arnold had burned to the ground and where he ordered surrendering American forces to be slaughtered. The group wants the statue placed specifically over the exact location where an unnamed, surrendering American soldier was killed by British troops.

Would you go along with the idea that this statue was necessary in order “remind people” of this part of history? Do you feel that a statue done in this way achieves the correct goal? Do you go along with the rhetoric of the organization that if we don’t put up this statue we are “erasing history”?

You say we should “never tear down memorials”, and yet you seem oblivious or uncaring about what these things are a memorial TO. Never tear down memorials to human decency, to hope, to fighting against Nazis, sure. Instead you are defending memorials that are put up to celebrate rape, murder, lynching, slavery and owning other human beings.

The Auschwitz memorial doesn’t do that.

But the memorials celebrating Confederate “heroes” do, and were put up by people who supported what they did, to glorify their actions.

Take them down and, at most if they MUST be kept, put them in a museum, where the stories of the slavery they were fighting for can be put into context as the horrible events they were, rather than whitewashed (pun absolutely intended) out of history. Replace them with statues of those who defeated the Confederacy, and those who suffered under it.

It’s precisely because we remember history that these statues are unnecessary and offensive.