Opinion

Confederate statues belong in museums, should not be public monuments

After the devastating acts that occurred in Charlottesville, Va., there was an increase in the discussion over confederate monuments and what they really represent. The main question is, "Do confederate monuments deserve to still be placed in public places?" There has been so much talk and debate over whether monuments commemorating confederate leaders should remain placed in public places throughout the U.S. After Charlottesville, many cities took it upon themselves to remove monuments and many other people took to the streets to protest their removal.

The confederate army and its leaders represent a period in America’s history that accepted slavery and is linked directly to white supremacy. Throughout our country we have countless schools, parks and streets named after confederate leaders. Even though they were a significant part of America’s history, do they still deserve to be remembered as openly as they are?

After much controversy, direct descendants of some of these leaders have come forward with their opinions. Family members of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee said that they would not have any objections to the removal of the monuments. They suggested that they be placed in museums instead.

These monuments bring back all of the pain and suffering endured by slaves and servants of that time and all of the mistreatment that Blacks and African-Americans were subjected to. They shouldn’t have to relive that pain through statues and monuments.

The president of the United States does not agree with these family members. He argues that the removal of these statues and monuments is degrading and disrespectful to fundamental American history.

This issue has even been compared to the remembrance of the Holocaust in Europe. In Germany and other surrounding countries, which were home to concentration and death camps, they do not have statues commemorating any Nazi leaders. You don’t see any monuments remembering those leaders and all the malicious acts they committed.

World War II was a monumental part of Europe’s history. The Holocaust was a monumental part of Europe’s history. They have more sense than to spend money publically showcasing any of its leaders. In 1949, Germany made the swastika illegal in its country. The U.S. currently has some 700 confederate monuments standing.

If people want to preserve “American history” so badly, then they can pay a fee to go see their statues in a museum. We shouldn’t have to go to the park and be reminded of what many confederate leaders stood for; we can get all that information directly from our history books in class. We face so much of that mentality on a daily basis that we don’t need statues to emphasize it.

Chelsea is a freshman intending on majoring in journalism. Do you think confederate statues should be removed? Send any questions or comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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