Last weekend in Charlottesville we saw history of the wrong kind. Was it over the removal of Confederate statues, or something entirely different? Were the White Supremacists, KKK, and the Neo-Nazi’s really there to voice their displeasure of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue or to voice their mission statement and attract more members? Or, were they there looking to cause exactly what we saw on our TV screens?Anyway you look at it they certainly got the attention of the country. Most people find the values of these groups vile at best and the scars from past wars and demonstrations run deep and it does not take much to make them painful all over again.
The US Constitution gives us all the right to believe, demonstrate ( peacefully ), and say what we believe. This is a freedom we all have, and have fought to protect, and it is as it should be. A right we do not have, the right to incite violence. Most are smart enough to know this but we also must be smart enough to stay away from potential power kegs! Hate is destructive in so many ways.
Robert E Lee Statue in Virginia
For the statues, schools, and other things that are named for Confederates I do not believe we should celebrate people who went to war against the US over the rights to own slaves. While Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were great war generals the ideals they fought for are not mine nor the majority of people. Stonewall Jackson’s own family has written an open letter to the Governor for the removal of his likeness and all others. Perspective plays a huge roll in this debate. Are we celebrating Confederates, great war generals, or are they a reminder of terrible things that can happen when we don’t treat everyone as equals.
Just because something in past history is ugly doesn’t mean if we tear it down and bury it all of that history will suddenly go away. History is not always pretty people! Whether the statues stay or go will fall on the communities where they now stand. The only thing I want to make sure of is that we don’t lose our history. The lessons learned from the Nazi’s or the Civil War were expensive, so many lives were lost. Those lessons must remain and be taught so they are never allowed to be repeated.
I am heading to the backyard.
Peace to ALL
See you next week