Should monuments to the Confederacy be destroyed or removed from public view? | The Tylt

Should monuments to the Confederacy be destroyed or removed from public view?

Statues are coming down. In June, protestors toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, in Richmond, VA. (where a statue of Christopher Columbus was destroyed days earlier). When it comes to symbols of the Confederacy, protestors argue maintaining statues and building names glorifies figures who fought to uphold slavery. Others say these symbols are a reflection of America's dark past and argue that although they should not be given a stage for public glorification, they cannot be destroyed entirely. Instead, statues can be removed from public view. What do you think? 

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Along Richmond, VA's manicured Monument Avenue, statues of Confederate leaders stand among pristine trees and a grassy mall. As of June 10, there is one less Confederate statue for passersby to see. Per the Associated Press, protestors destroyed the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. 

Efforts to tear one of the statues down began around 8:20 p.m., but the rope they were using snapped, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
The crowd was frustrated by the Portsmouth City Council’s decision to put off moving the monument. They switched to throwing bricks from the post that held the plaque they had pulled down as they initially worked to bring down the statue.
The Pilot reports that they then started to dismantle the monument one piece at a time as a marching band played in the streets and other protesters danced.

Leaders of the Confederacy actively fought to keep slavery in place. Many feel statues in their honor imply a clear message: that this country and its residents honor the principles these figures upheld. In this light, the destruction of these monuments is long overdue. 

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Others argue these monuments should not be destroyed outright. Rather, local governments can come together to remove Confederate statues from public view so as not to impart glory or appreciation of their legacy. Although some propose putting the statues in a museum to preserve the true nature of the United State's past, others argue a museum imparts its own dignity to the statues. The Atlantic's Graeme Wood offers an alternative solution: 

I would propose a lesson from postwar Germany, whose Nazi predecessors built monuments to themselves so large and ambitious that nothing short of aerial bombing could destroy them. We obliged in some cases. But one of the grandest Nazi dreams—the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg, site of the patriotic reverie Triumph of the Will—is still there, undisturbed. It is about five times the size of Monaco, and near downtown Nuremberg. You can visit it anytime you like.
It is not, however, lovingly maintained. There are no ticket-takers, and no guards in sight. Large portions are overgrown. Chain-link fences make it difficult to reach the central grandstand. On the structures, weeds grow up through cracks between the stones, and almost no signage notes that where you are standing....You can take out your phone, find out where Hitler sat, and go spit or fart in that exact spot. No one cares. 

Wood's proposal involves regulating these monuments to a forgotten space. Whether overgrown in a field or placed at the bottom of a lake, the statues remain as a reminder of dark history of the U.S., rather than as glorifications of that same history. 

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But as many point out, the construction of Confederate statues spiked during two periods: in the years immediately following the Civil War and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s. According to NPR's Miles Parks: 

The most recent comprehensive study of Confederate statues and monuments across the country was published by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year. A look at this chart shows huge spikes in construction twice during the 20th century: in the early 1900s, and then again in the 1950s and 60s. Both were times of extreme civil rights tension.

Experts assert the meaning behind these statues:

James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, says that the increase in statues and monuments was clearly meant to send a message.
"These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy," Grossman said. "Why would you put a statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?"

In this light, Confederate statues put up during the 1950s and '60s are nothing but attempts to maintain a social oder of white supremacy, and they ought to be destroyed. 

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There's no question these monuments poison public consciousness, and in this light, some historians maintain the statues should be removed from public spaces, rather than completely destroyed. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should monuments to the Confederacy be destroyed or removed from public view?
A festive crown for the winner
#DestroyMonuments
#MoveMonuments