The right way to remove statues

A Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, was lifted off the pedestal on which it stood for 111 years in front of the county courthouse on Saturday, September 12, 2020, one month after the county board of supervisors voted to remove it. “There has been a robust, community-driven process to bring us to this moment,” the board’s chair said in a press release. The governor called it a “historic day” and said “symbols do matter.”

Of course symbols matter. The American flag is a symbol, and some people get very upset if you desecrate it. Crosses on graves of American GIs killed in combat are symbols reminding us of their sacrifices for our nation’s freedom.

The Confederate statues sprinkled across the South also are symbolic reminders of something —  “heritage” to some, but hate and oppression to others. How do you reconcile these conflicting views? By voting on it. That’s also what happened in the video below of a different statue removal in Arkansas about 2 weeks earlier. Statues aren’t entitled to due process, but the people to whom they have meaning are.

Photo: The “At Ready” statue in Charlottesville before its removal on September 12, 2020.

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