I am going to break this into series because it is far too much to put into one singular post and while all the issues are tied together, I feel it necessary to break them down all the way. I want to start with the statues of Confederate figures. To believe people are protesting a monument in it's physical state is ridiculous. No, it is not the statue in itself that we are protesting but what it stands for. Let me explain:
When do you think most of those statues were erected? If you said shortly after the Civil War you would be incorrect. Most of the statues were erected in two very distinct time periods: Jim Crow and Civil Rights.
What is the Jim Crow era? The Jim Crow era started in 1877 and did not end until the 1950s when the Civil Rights Movement started. If you pick up any history book you will find that during this time African Americas were "free" but not really. If it didn't say "colored" then it wasn't for you. African Americans were only allowed to deal within their own communities. Sure, it was alright for Big Mama to go work in the house watching white children and making meals for white families but don't stop at one of their grocery stores to buy something for yourself, make sure you sit at the back of the bus and regardless of how hot or thirsty you are, be sure to drink from the "colored only" water fountain.
Why then, were these statues erected during that time? Simple, as an intimidation tactic, as a way to remind African Americans that while they were "free" they weren't really "free". To say that those statues of Confederate men, men who were for slavery, men who fought so that the South could keep slavery (don't worry, I'll be touching on that war too), they are very much a symbol of racism. Do they need to come down? Yes they do. They belong in places like museums and in history books but they do not belong on college campuses where African American men and women receive an education, they do not belong in town squares, parks or any areas that are open to the public or where anyone that is minority is able to go, which thank God, is everywhere.
Along with the argument that we are protesting the physical monument/statue I want to touch on the comment of "erasing our history". Our history cannot be erased. Do you want to know whose history we try to erase: Native Americans because your history book only gives you what they want you to know; Asian Americans because they downplay the concentration camps we placed them in during WWII; Latin Americans because we don't want to admit that we conned them out of their land to make more of the good ole U.S.A.; African Americas because we do not want to think about what we, as a collective whole, did to other human beings. So if we want to talk about preserving history, when are we going to include real history and not the watered down version people are comfortable with?
I have also heard it said that if the Confederate statues are removed then we should remove Dr. King's because he was not for LGBT or homosexual marriage. The Bible does teach the homosexuality is wrong but so is coveting, so is lying, so is rape, murder and adultery. If you believe the Bible, you also know that you are to love your neighbor, your friend and your enemy. You are to stand up for the poor, the discriminating against, the weak and the sick. So if taking down a statue of a man who stood for equality for all and who fought and was murdered for equality of all, be my guest because it won't change who he is or what he did just like it won't change the history of the slave owner and Confederate General Robert E. Lee either but at least we don't have to look at it.
Some think I am being extremely petty but let me give you one more example of why we need these statues gone and why I am not fighting the statue but what it stands for. You guys know the big names but do you know who Dr. J. Marion Sims was? Probably not!
This monster, because I like to call it how I see it, is referred to as the father of gynecology. Yes ladies, we can think him for that awesome instrument we endure once a year. This man made breakthroughs in medical science in the gynecological field but at what cost? He made these breakthrough using enslaved black women, some enduring as many as 13 surgeries, all without the use of any anesthesia. Why? Because according to Dr. Sims, black women didn't feel pain even though he documented that they clearly did in one of his journals.
There is not one but 3, yes 3, statues of this evil man. The New York Academy of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College and in Alabama. African Americans attend these schools. Every day they walk past a man who made medical break advancements on the backs of enslaved African American women. Sounds a little like the medical breakthroughs of the Nazi's under Hilter but I don't see any statues of Hilter anywhere.
So no, I am not trying to take away history, simply stand up for what is right and racist symbols in the country I love have got to go. It's far past time for them to go.
Some photos are not mine. I have cited my sources for photos used in my blog.