Barbara Dismukes Monuments post

“What should we do with historical monuments if they’re removed?”

            I think that historical monuments should be left where they were placed.  Taking them down does nothing to change history.  These memorials are reminders of things that happened in the past and should be looked at in this capacity.  Not all of the memorials that are in cities are considered to be “racist”, but in today’s world that is exactly what is happening.  These memorials should be telling their own stories of history, what happened and how we can avoid it happening again.

            If memorials and statues are taken down, I think they should be placed in museums for people to learn from.  Destroying them is stupid and wasteful.  History is what it was, it can’t be changed, removed, or erased.  Showing our children and grandchildren how our country has changed and bettered itself is part of history and should be taught, not hidden.

            Hopefully, we as a Nation, have learned from the mistakes of our forefathers and will continue to grow together as a nation who is loving and caring and can see people for what they are and not the color of their skin.  Looking at someone’s color shows that people are ignorant in their thinking.  What truly matters is what is in someone’s heart, not their skin color.

            I don’t believe we need to “interpret” monuments.  They all clearly state who the person was and what made him stand out.  Not that anyone has to agree with what they were honored for, but at the time they were celebrated, people were proud of that and thought they did something good to deserve that honor.

            Hopefully we can all learn from history, the good and the bad, but looking at the young people today, they are making bad choices in how they act, treat people, and other people’s property, much like the things that they are complaining about that happened to their ancestors!

            Removing or destroying monuments and statues is like shutting the barndoor after the horses are out!

One Comment

  1. Monuments primarily tell us about the times when they were created, not the subjects they try to represent. I agree that there needs to be more thought than what some groups who have taken matters into their own hands have done, however their frustrations speak to a problem with our memorial landscape in America. I think there are many monuments and memorials that can be left as they are, however there are a portion of monuments in this country that should not be left as they are. I say this not to try and distort history, but instead to encourage a more accurate reflection of history.

    You talk about how we don’t need to interpret monuments, they tell us history as it was. But this is not always as simple or reflective of history as we might hope. For example in Colfax, Louisiana there is a historical marker stating “marker states, “On this site occurred the Colfax Riot, in which three white men and 150 negroes were slain. This event on April 13, 1873, marked the end of carpetbag misrule in the South.” Taken at face value the marker would have you see the so-called Colfax Riot as a good thing, but in actuality the event was a massacre of elected black officials and their supports who tried to fight against a coalition of white supremacist paramilitary groups. The marker with the above language still stands, as does a monument in the town cemetery “erected to the memory of the Heroes … Who fell in the Colfax Riot fighting for White Supremacy.”
    The monument landscape is full of monuments with less obvious problems in their depictions of history and the language used, but still present problems to us understanding our history with a better consideration of the different people and perspectives involved. As well as counter the intentional skewing of the past to fit certain viewpoints, especially those seeking to advocate for an unequal society.

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