So pulling down the statues of Confederate leaders is “erasing history,” meaning we want to hide the truth about the past, let it be lost and forgotten in the mists of time, cover it up and bury it in the litter box. Well, that would be bad, right? Same thing as Stalin airbrushing his latest enemies out of official pictures in textbooks and news archives (some of those pics got pretty empty over the years). We can’t pretend stuff didn’t happen. We need to remember all the dumbass things we did so we don’t do them again (didn’t somebody say something like that?).
And of course, teaching stuff in school and writing about it in books doesn’t count, because who the heck pays attention in school or reads books? Maybe a short YouTube video… But what we really need are STATUES! Yeah, every government building should have a bronze, bigger-than-life-sized fertilizer truck with Tim McVeigh stepping out of the cab so we remember not to blow people up (and government employees remember to keep an eye peeled). Schools should all have statues at their entrance of Dylan and Eric with their trench coats and weapons ready to rock and roll—or another child-murderer of their choice (oh so many to pick from)—so we know not to kill kids.
Really? No, not really. Confederate sympathizers and apologizers, as well as actual sane people, know very well that we don’t put up statues of despicable things we need to remember, we put up statues of people and events we LIKE and respect and celebrate. And of course they DO love and celebrate the leaders of the Confederacy, cuz they told that darn Federal gummint where they could go stick their anti-slave talk. Nobody was gonna slave-shame THEM. And THAT’S the problem, a lot more than the statues themselves. Too many people still today don’t really have a problem with what happened in the slave-holding states back then and what is happening to the descendants of those slaves here today.
And for those of you who are limbering up your typing fingers to reply that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about states’ rights, read the various Confederate States’ declarations of secession. The “rights” they wanted to preserve were the right to buy and sell people, make them work for nothing and beat them bloody if they didn’t. Guess your statues didn’t teach you right after all. Pull ‘em down.