One thing I hear all the time is, “If we take down statues of Confederate officers, where does it end? Will we take down all statues?”.
To which I answer, ” Why not? ”
To be clear, I am not saying we should not have any statues. Instead, I think we should take a page out of Larry Wilmore’s book.
Larry Wilmore, in this video, makes a proposal for the Confederate flag. “Why not take it down now, and then you can debate putting it back up?”.
I actually think this would be a good exercise.
Each community could take down all of its statues and then debate putting them back up. Ideally, this would start with more abstract questions, such as “What is the purpose of statues?”. “Are there ‘deal breakers ‘, acts that are so horrific that they disqualify a person from having a statue, regardless of their other accomplishments?”.
After this, the community can review the historical evidence of the person’s life, and allow different voices in the community to prevent different viewpoints.
Will this happen? Not in a million years. And I can’t pretend this would singlehandedly fix the problem of racial injustice. But I don’t think it would hurt.