I do not know what is the matter with me but I am viewing this whole removal of statues thing in a completely different light.
By removing these statues we are inadvertently deleting significant events and personages from our global history. Rulers and influential people that shaped the course of history to what it is and has become today both for good and bad.
Even if we choose to focus on the injustice, racism and evil that they caused, removing the monument will not remove that tragic history and its effects. By removing it, it’s like saying ‘it never happen’. Instead of increasing our awareness and knowledge of real history we end up contributing to even more ignorance.
If you were to take this to a global scale encompassing mankind’s complete known history what about the statues of the Roman Emperors and the monuments of Egyptian Pharaohs to name a few?
Should we not remove these monuments as well because their kingdoms were also based on inequality and slavery? But the very fact that we have reasonably updated and accurate historical records about these monuments changes our perspective, dimensions and viewpoint towards them. We do not feel that we are glorifying them or what they stood for by their continued existance. When we look at them we are increasing our knowledge and understanding of that time period as a part of our common worldwide human history.
What is one of the first things that comes to our mind when we look or think about these statues combined with the Roman Arenas and Egyptian Pyramids?
We see captive prisoners and Christians being fed to the lions in these arenas and envision slaves pulling and moving masses slabs of rock to build the pyramids while being whipped and beaten cruelly. The very existence of these statues and monuments helps us to remember and acknowledge the cruel history that took place back then and
….. keeps their victims alive in our hearts and minds.
Personally I feel that its ‘the government sponsored’ censorship of what is allowed to be taught in our schooling systems history lessons that should be pulled down immediately.
If you really want to show respect to the descendants of slavery and oppression then increase awareness instead of pulling down monuments.
Educate both the children of those that prospered from slavery and the descendants of slaves that suffered from it in uncensored history lessons but also in other school subjects dealing with economics and social injustice.
Change or add a new inscription to these existing monuments that tells the whole ugly truth about who they really are.
If you want to go a step further start erecting some new monuments alongside these existing ones in recognition of both the martyrs and survivors of those time periods.
Permanent landmarks that tell the whole complete unbiased story of where we all came from and where we must never return to.
Knowledge is the greatest enemy of fear, ignorance and racism.
Photo credits: https://skitterphoto.com/