Erasing history or recognizing racism’s glorification?
In my second year of grade school, I learned for the first time about the Civil War and end to slavery. What I learned were the efforts of many abolitionists to end what we all should see now as a shameful stain on America’s history: slavery and racism.
Granted, the history I learned in elementary school is not as simple as many of us would have liked it to be. There were many more economic and political factors that played into it.
It’s important to note that in grade school I learned the basics of the Civil War. That is, the Confederates were on the wrong side of history. The side that wanted to continue the enslavement of an entire race of people.
As important as it is to remember our history and our roots, there is a distinct difference between remembering and glorifying.
A quick Google search can provide a very important underlying factor into the creation of many of the Confederate monuments we see today. They were erected with the motive of endorsing Jim Crow laws, decades after the Civil War.
Why do we need monuments that were erected for the sake of encouraging a continuation of the oppression of people of color? We don’t. They cause pain to an entire race of people that have clearly seen enough animosity during their entire existence in America.
The removal of Confederate monuments in all states, including our own, is necessary to acknowledge the fact that America committed acts of horrors and crime against our own people.
It is not an attempt at history’s erasure, seeing that we continue to teach the Civil War from grade school into high school. If our nation truly wants to progress, we must let go of the want to stay neutral in a time of unrest.
Leaving the monuments is an act of neutrality, one that shows people of color that we still have work to do to progress and recognize America’s errors in history.