They recently moved a statue honoring a Confederate soldier from a public park to a cemetery. As a humanist and believer in equality over division, I empathize with the desire to tear down the symbols of oppression and racism. I simply wish to caution the warriors of social justice to be careful we’re not just blindly white washing history.
I imagine if you were to poll the average person who patrons the park, most probably didn’t even notice this humble statue tucked away against a bush. And if they had, a percentage less would have actually read the plaque. I’ve read it. Well I read it once. A long time ago. The only thing that surprised me was that it was a Confederate soldier. It made no claims that stuck out to me as racist or proclaiming white supremacy. He was also a good old Orlando boy who fought and died protecting his home and way of life.
I think we must remember our history as it was, we must know our past. I fear a world where we forget that the US once operated internment camps and we pretend the Civil War was only about slavery. We have the tools to show history in full Technicolor, why do we insist in keeping it black and white? No war is as simple as good and evil. To the victor belongs the history books. I think we should humanize the villains of the history so we can understand them, so we can learn from our past so we don’t destroy our future. It’s time to stop fighting the feuds of our ancestors.