Confederate statues: History or hate?

Confederate monuments taken down in the U.S.

JoAnn Sharpless, Staff Writer

In recent events, Confederate statues have been taken down due to controversy over events taking place in America. One of those events being chaos that happened in Charlottesville, Va. Many white supremacists and neo-Nazis are arguing that the statues hold historical value. Even though the statutes do hold some historical value, the line between history and hate is being blurred. With tensions in America quickly rising due to events that have been taking place, the time to wait for a different solution has ended.

In several places around the United States, there are statues that commemorate Confederate generals that are on the verge of being removed. These statues are made for individuals who, at one point, had a big role in the Confederacy. Even though the statues show their leadership they also show the history of the men who helped fight in the Civil War. Many believe that these statutes should no longer be kept up, and they have good reasons to feel this way. But the  statues are idols and heroes to some people. Some statues even have a deeper meaning than what they were originally meant to mean.

To new immigrants coming into the country, the Statue of Liberty is a sign of hope and freedom. We still have statutes that are from a time Americans were separated. Symbols can be powerful things and can do a lot of good. However, they can also lead to dangerous consequences. In June 2015, nine black churchgoers were brutally murdered in Charleston, S.C. after 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire during a bible study session. He was known to wear and embrace Confederate symbols. After this event took place, the Confederate flag was taken down from public places.

An easy solution to this situation that would be right in the middle of what both sides want is to add more information to the plaque on the statue to give better background information. Even with this solution, there are people who would still be upset. People that want the statues taken down say that it’s letting white supremacists win, while others for leaving statues up are bringing up the fact that the plaque shouldn’t be needed on the statue. There are other places where people can go to learn about the people who fought in the Civil War and commemorate them. Some examples of places someone could visit to show their appreciation would be a museum, fort or battle ground. In each of these places, they would also show the whole story behind the war and not just an image of what people want to see.

In all, with the violence that has taken place and the fact that one person had passed away due to violent protesting, it only seems right to take them down. With other places that you can go to visit, there’s no real reason to have the statues. In the end, this is something that needs to be addressed. How can our country stand united when we are divided by a war that happened several decades ago?