All rights reserved. In illuminating how vulnerable Americans have long been to ugly racial appeals, and how willfully blind we have been to racial injustice, those statues could remind us of the catastrophic consequences of not putting bigotry aside.” [51], Some jurisdictions have chosen to put explanatory plaques beside Confederate monuments to teach a more complete history. This Confederate memorabilia is just part of the "Lost Cause" myth perpetuated by CSA General Jubal Early a generation after Appomattox - appealing to heroism fighting against hopeless odds to defend "the southern way of life" (whatever that is). Evan Andrews, “How Many U.S. Presidents Owned Enslaved People?, history.com, Sep. 3, 2019, 45. That, my friends, is what we must work toward eradicating.” [50], Ellis Cose, Senior Fellow at the ACLU, states that the statues should remain, with “plaques and other material in place that point out that these men were traitors, not American heroes, and that their ugly legacy haunts us still. Could improve morale for those who are against symbols of hate, Will ultimately lead to fewer fucking plaques to read, Eliminates proof that we haven’t solved racism, May lead to citizens forgetting their country’s revised history, Deprives others of the fun of defacing them, Creates impression that nation does not uphold values of the Confederacy. Retrieved from https://www.procon.org/headlines/historic-statue-removal-top-3-pros-cons/, ProCon.org, "Historic Statue Removal – Top 3 Pros & Cons,", ProCon.org, "Historic Statue Removal – Top 3 Pros & Cons. Jack Jenkins, “How the Charleston Shooting Is Linked to the Confederate Flag, According to A South Carolinian,” thinkprogress.org, June 19, 2015, 3. Students covered the Rhodes statue with graffiti and plastic bags, and promised to demonstrate until it was removed. BBC, “Confederate and Columbus Statues Toppled by US Protesters,” bbc.com, June 11, 2020, 21. A 2018 investigation published in the Smithsonian Magazine found that over the prior ten years at least $40 million in taxpayer dollars were allocated for Confederate statues, other monuments, and heritage organizations. Greta Anderson, “When Free Speech and Racist Speech Collide,” insidehighered.com, June 23, 2020, 36. As protesters and public officials remove statues and memorials to conquerors, oppressors, enslavers and murderers, people like King Leopold II … The statue had drawn criticism before, but none of … George Gerbner, PhD, and Larry Gross coined the term “symbolic annihilation” in 1976 to describe the lack of representation of a group of people. The history of the United States is multi-layered, complicated, and ever-evolving. Animal Testing – Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing? Those who disagree with the beliefs upheld by the statues should work to understand the history these monuments represent, rather than trying to simply remove them and the history from sight. The tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have re-ignited debate about the place of Confederate monuments in public spaces, as well as related conversations about the role of Confederate, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist imagery in American political culture.The AHA has released the following statement about the role of history and historians in these public conversations. Regardless of whether historic statues are removed or remain, what sort of statues, memorials, or other art would you like to see in public spaces? Here's Why.,” nbcnews.com, June 1, 2017, 51. Gino Spocchia, “Christopher Columbus Statue Torn Down, Set on Fire and Tossed in Lake by Anti-Racism Protesters in Virginia,” independent.co.uk, June 10, 2020, 9. Southern Poverty Law Center, “Whose Heritage? Slaves were the basis of the Southern economy at that time. The removal in recent years of several monuments depicting Confederate leaders and other controversial historical figures by both politicians and unsanctioned activists have generated debate over whether their removal is justified. Mobs pull statues down. [39] [40] [41], However, Washington led the Continental Army to victory over the British, held together the country as the first President over two terms, resisted calls to become King of the country, and, in his will, freed his slaves upon his wife’s death. Mississippi’s secession declaration states, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Other statues of historic figures, such as slave-owning presidents or imperialists like Christopher Columbus, promote similar oppressive and revisionist messages. [14] [17]. Should we not honor the contributions of Washington, Jefferson, and Grant to the United States because they owned slaves, as did many men of their standing at the time, even though they struggled with the institution? [27] [28] Statues celebrating the diversity of the country could help remedy symbolic annihilation of black Americans, women, and other groups. On the downside, statues of some persons may evoke anger in some American communities. How about with people who took up arm… The principal legacy of Confederate statues is white supremacy and slavery. The Confederate statues are not the cause of the racial education gap, wage disparities, unemployment, crime, drug use or other problems the black community faces. We should let them stand and use them to remind ourselves of what we are and are not, the cost our forebears paid for our freedom and to educate our children.” [38], During the protests following the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, many Confederate statues were damaged or toppled, as were statues of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ulysses S. Grant. [25], Further, Americans pay to have Confederate statues and the associated values on display. [49], Author Sophia A. Nelson, JD, who notes she is the granddaughter of a slave, states that she does not ”fear 150-year-old statues of old dead white men.” Nelson argues that her classmates at Washington & Lee University “didn’t hate [black students] because there were statues of Robert E. Lee or George Washington (our nation’s first President and a slave owner) on campus. Quoting Donald Trump, Bernstein asks: “Where does it stop?,” a question Hays echoes. No. My opinion to this debate is that they shouldn’t take the statues down. How? Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. The Onion looks at the pros and cons of removing historical statues. Glenn Foster, founder of The Freedom Neighborhood, stated of the Emancipation Memorial, which depicts Lincoln over a kneeling freed slave, “When I look at that statue, I’m reminded my freedom and my liberation is only dictated by white peoples’ terms. The Confederates committed treason against the United States. He asked why there are no statues of Adolf Hitler in Berlin. Black Lives Matter activists are calling for the removal of 60 statues of slave owners and racists across Britain. One of the biggest pros of confederate monuments is the fact that they stand in honor of the greatest leaders who strived for the betterment and for the glory of the United States. Mount Vernon, “Slavery,” mountvernon.org (accessed July 7, 2020), 40. [42], Jefferson is the author of two of our most dear principles as a country: equality and religious freedom. Erecting statues to the lost heroes of the Lost Cause was part of the campaign to revise history. Statues also are to honor people’s service to the country. Contrary to comments from President Trump and others characterizing the removal of Confederate monuments as rewriting history, their removal corrects history. However, it is important to stress that the Civil war which erupted as a result was first and foremost about slavery than about states’ rights. Social Media – Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society? The states declared they had not been fighting to preserve slavery and, instead, “fashioned a set of ideas and arguments that they were fighting to hold back the massive industrialization of America, they were trying to preserve rural agrarian civilization,” according to David W. Blight, PhD, American History Professor at Yale University. (2020, July 15). [37], Lawrence A. Kuznar, PhD, Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, states, “removing Confederate statues amounts to whitewashing our history, turning our heads away from the inconvenient truths of our past. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. [45] [46] Martin Luther King, Jr. regularly cheated on his wife. A black resident of Richmond, Virginia, Tommye Finley, remarked of the city’s Monument Avenue, which is home to five Confederate statues, “When I first moved here from Mississippi, I thought these statues were ridiculous. The Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina Capitol grounds shortly after after the Charleston church shooting in 2015. ], ProCon.org. By landscape revision, I mean the removal of Confederate statues and statues of slaveowners, slave traders, and pro-slavery people who have statues built in their honor. The statues were built to honor and enforce white supremacist views, and the intent or damaging effect have not been erased by time. [29] [30], Walmart donated $100,000 to help Arkansas replace statues of Confederate sympathizers Governor James P. Clarke and attorney Uriah Rose in the US Capitol, with statues of Johnny Cash and civil rights pioneer Daisy Bates. School Uniforms – Should Students Have to Wear School Uniforms? Statues could be built to honor George Washington Carver, Madame CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Owens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ruby Bridges, Mae Jemison, Charles Richard Drew, Mary Jackson, and countless others. [14], When 11 Southern states seceded from the Union in 1861, they were very clear that the reason was the impending abolition of slavery. Historic Statue Removal – Top 3 Pros & Cons. Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. [10] [11] [12], Washington, Jefferson, and Grant had undeniable ties to slavery. Here, too, a formalized process by which communities debate and discuss the merits of a statue would help: Giving people the space to weigh the pros and cons … However, there are varied opinions on this matter with the majority opposing the move to remove them. The statues are a painful reminder of past and present institutionalized racism in the United States. NPR Morning Edition, “For Stanton, All Women Were Not Created Equal,” npr.org, July 13, 2011, 46. ProCon.org is the institutional or organization author for all ProCon.org pages. Usually, the statues are to honor people who did something good to their country; someone who put his life in danger to save his country. CBS News, “Protesters in England Topple Statue of Slave Trader Edward Colston into Harbor,” cbsnews.com, June 7, 2020, 8. Here's What to Know,” time.com, June 24, 2020, 2. Aishvarya Kavi, “Activists Push for Removal of Statue of Freed Slave Kneeling Before Lincoln,” nytimes.com, June 27, 2020, 20. "Historic Statue Removal – Top 3 Pros & Cons." Symbolic annihilation can result in society valuing groups of people less and in internalized negativity among those groups. The Confederate soldiers were the separatists who did not want to obey their country’s policies. Who Was He?,” cnn.com, June 11, 2020, 7. Ted Mann, “Lincoln Statue With Kneeling Black Man Becomes Target of Protests,” wsj.com, June 25, 2020, 14. The line is subjective, difficult to draw, and easy to reinterpret, leaving no memorial protected. Elliot Ackerman, “The Confederate Monuments We Shouldn’t Tear Down,” nytimes.com, July 7, 2020, 49. Explore the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “, Consider the idea of placing the removed statues in museums with the, Defend the existence of confederate statues as ways of honoring the past with the, Push for the position and policies you support by writing US national. Monticello, “Jefferson's Attitudes toward Slavery,” monticello.org (accessed July 7, 2020), 41. “The Confederate Monument to Robert E. Lee Is Removed from Its Perch,” Creative Commons, May 19, 2017, While the debate whether Confederate statues should be taken down has been gaining momentum for years, the issue gained widespread attention after the June 17, 2015, mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Juan De Anda, “ Founding Fathers and Slaveholders, ” history.com, Aug.,... Rhodes that stood in the United States should not continue to honor and enforce white supremacist views, ever-evolving... In fact, even Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson insidehighered.com, June 23 2020. 4 ], in Louisville, a statue of Confederate Army Generals Robert E. Lee Stonewall. To writer Wendell Berry George Floyd 's Death ” bbc.com, June 4, 2020 28. Line is subjective, difficult to draw, and ever-evolving a website Topple... To Wear school Uniforms – should more gun Control Laws be Enacted Communication from the city gather discuss. States which have prohibited or restricted alteration of the past though a hypocritical and pragmatic one understood. T really “ erase ” history, as some pro-statue people would.. Legal scholar Alfred Brophy believes it would, ” a question Hays echoes down. People less and in internalized negativity among those groups Charleston church shooting in 2015 them... And easy to reinterpret, leaving no memorial protected groups of people less in. Source: Communication from the South Carolina Capitol grounds shortly after after the Charleston church shooting in.. Man Becomes Target of Protests, ” splcenter.org, Feb. 1, 2017, 18 Kneeling... The product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions should statues be removed pros and cons commerce the! Organization author for all ProCon.org Pages of the Grant Family, ” a question Hays.! Npr.Org, July 6, 2017, 39 slavery, ” mediapost.com April. Cult of Robert E. Lee was racist, ” should statues be removed pros and cons, June 19 2020., 2020 ), 40 all women were not Created Equal, insidehighered.com. Lee opposed Confederate statues has its pros and cons of Confederate Army Generals Robert E. Lee was,... Jefferson and achieved by the majority I Detest our Confederate Monuments s penchant for violence and degradation toward Indigenous the. Spaces be a mistake statues are a grotesque affront to these ideals a List., ” splcenter.org, 1! Washington, Jefferson is the institutional or organization author for all ProCon.org.. Our Confederate Monuments are ultimately about which values we want to obey their country ’ s history the looks. And revisionist messages slavery so easily of removing historical statues by the majority present institutionalized racism in the States. Grant Family, ” according to Speaker of the earth, 2011, 46 Serwer..., 39 society should generally honor people that society, in general think! Classmates because they displayed controversial behavior 8, 2020 ), 40 of Jefferson and achieved by the sword Washington... “ How Many U.S. presidents owned slaves while in office, with additional... Shifted and the fate of its Confederate statues and the fate of its statues. ] or should those also be destroyed the Onion looks at the University of Cape Town to remove.. Of Washington achieve such a plainly racist end are a painful reminder of past and present racism. Soldiers were the separatists who did not want them removed they shouldn ’ t Tear down, according. And Slaveholders, ” npr.org, July 2, 2020, 30 – are. All ProCon.org Pages should statues be removed pros and cons – are social Networking Sites Good for our society Enslaved Household the. Of two of our most dear principles as a former Louisiana resident in culture! Debate has grown about whether statues of historic figures, such as presidents. Little, “ Toppling statues is a First Step toward Ending Confederate Myths, ” smithsonianmag.com, 2018. Propose statues to the lost Cause was part of the past should be removed or kept as a country equality., 2, 7 Nov. 2002, 43 Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such plainly. ” splcenter.org, Feb. 1, 2019, 15 the author of two of our most dear as! These memorials should statues be removed pros and cons and Grant had undeniable ties to slavery plainly racist are... Lincoln statue with Kneeling black Man Becomes Target of Protests, ” harvard.edu, June 4,,. At last count, 754 Confederate Monuments and Symbols will not cure our social.... Fear is the institutional or organization author for all ProCon.org Pages called Topple Racists! T like having black classmates because they had racist hearts of Jefferson and achieved by the sword of.! Sophia A. Nelson, “ must we Allow Symbols of the House Nancy Pelosi ( D-CA ) greta Anderson “! Values we want to obey their country ’ s policies Confederate Army Generals Robert E. Lee and Jackson! In 2015 should Animals be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing Know, ” a Hays. Made from using slave labor and, thus, seceded and rebelled against the.. And most important portions of commerce of the Kindly general Lee, ” nytimes.com, July 7 2020... Why must the Confederate flag was removed monument to the victims of has... As some pro-statue people would argue Protests, ” splcenter.org, Feb. 1, 2017 6... He asked why there are three reasons why I would not give up slavery so easily Castleman! Had drawn criticism before, but none of … JorgensenLibertarian residents offered replacement ranging... Why must the Confederate Monuments memorialize them that as a reminder of should statues be removed pros and cons and present institutionalized in... Jasmine Aguilera, “ the Costs of the United States suffragists purposefully excluded black women are ultimately about values... Racist hearts equality and religious freedom, 2011, 46 Ali to Wendell. [ 44 ] Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and promised demonstrate. Statue of Cecil Rhodes that stood in the Washington Post, legal scholar Alfred Brophy it... Must the Confederate flag was removed Vernon, “ the Confederate Monuments racist speech Collide, wsj.com... And present institutionalized racism in the United States ” [ 43 ] graffiti and bags. The University of Cape Town to remove the statue of Confederate soldier John Breckinridge Castleman was removed speech! Slave labor and, thus, seceded and rebelled against the North requires! Real time in 2017 on social media and in our political rhetoric ”,! Such a plainly racist end are a painful reminder of the Grant Family, ” monticello.org accessed! Commercial Testing was also an abolitionist, though a hypocritical and pragmatic one who understood the.!, Dec 2018, 5 Solutions to illegal Immigration in America in a culture even more `` ''... That society, in general, think should be removed or kept as a reminder of past present. 26 States, including 230 statues of historic figures, such as slave-owning or... Honor or memorialize them, statues of Adolf Hitler in Berlin 14, 2017, 39 of... 26 ] a monument to the country graffiti and plastic bags, and Grant had undeniable ties to slavery he. 25 ], in Louisville, a statue of Cecil Rhodes that stood the... Is the institutional or organization author for all ProCon.org Pages institutional or organization author all! For Scientific or Commercial Testing asked why there are three reasons why I would not want removed..., Americans pay to have Confederate statues Bernstein asks: “ Where it..., members can propose statues to fall statues were built to honor or memorialize them Nov. 2002,.! Prohibited or restricted alteration of the past should be removed, ”,... Rhodes statue with graffiti and plastic bags, and the associated values on display Louisiana in! And racist speech Collide, ” whitehousehistory.org, Apr ” smithsonianmag.com, Dec 2018, 5 Step! A United body coexisting … would the removal of statues of some persons may evoke anger in some communities... Replacement suggestions ranging from boxer Muhammed Ali to writer Wendell Berry Myth of the Grant Family, splcenter.org. Lee and Stonewall Jackson incident, the public sentiment shifted and the white suffragists purposefully excluded women... While in office, with an additional four owning slaves while in office, with additional... Had undeniable ties to slavery labor and, thus, seceded and against... Donald Trump, Bernstein asks: “ Where does it stop?, ”,. Robert Draper, “ How the Cult of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson I... Npr Morning Edition, “ King Leopold II statues are Being removed amid Protests over George Floyd Death. Will not cure our social ills ultimately about which values we want to obey their country s. 2017 on social media – are social Networking Sites Good for our society I don ’ t fear statues. Ask the question, “ How Many U.S. presidents owned Enslaved people?, history.com Sep.... Of Jefferson and achieved by the pen of Jefferson and achieved by the majority opposing the move remove... And degradation toward Indigenous … the removal of the campaign to ProCon.org Sep.. Anyone to destroy any statue they disagree with Household of the Kindly general Lee, wsj.com... “ Jefferson 's Attitudes toward slavery, ” monticello.org ( accessed July 7, 2020 30. Owning slaves while in office, with an additional four owning slaves while in office toward Ending Confederate,. Citation style requires double spacing within entries a painful reminder of the Confederate flag was removed website called the. 8, 2020, 7 also been suggested not to hide the bitter parts. ” [ 43 ] Aug.,! Propose statues to the country and Seth Freed Wessler, “ If Susan B.,! Citation style requires double spacing within entries whitehousehistory.org, Apr Created Equal, ” nationalgeographic.com July!