Here’s a question: Should those monuments in U.S. cities come crashing down or remain in place?
To answer that, I do as I always try to do: attempt to see the world from the other guy’s vantage. In this case, that means seeing myself as a black man in an American city who daily goes to work under the steely gaze of a “patriot” who went to war to sustain slavery. “And why is he up on that pedestal, I ask?”
Still, it is history being reflected. And we can’t change that.
So, here’s my thought on the matter: take ‘em down. Not Saddam-style, where they’re pulled into the dirt for all assembled to glory upon and spit at as they crash and burn. No, take them down in the middle of the night if necessary, when crowds are less likely. And then, don’t trash ‘em or store them away in barns. Relocate them. To museums, for instance, where they can be displayed with representative verbiage that expresses just who these people were, what their beliefs were, what side they were on, conditions of the times, etc. Delineate their contribution to history – for good or bad – for all to see.
You know, in my opinion, I think Germany has done a pretty commendable job of ensuring the Holocaust is understood and must never happen again. There are no statues to Hitler and his sorry group of thugs (who held on, the way Trump-acolytes do, to his rhetoric). And yet, there are numerous reminders, all of them easily accessible. Germans will not forget. Nor should they.
I think the U.S. could do the same thing with the civil war flag-wavers.