"I believe that all history should be saved? Otherwise, how will our children & grand children know"
This is a comment made by a College Station resident in favor of allowing statues of Confederate Generals to remain standing, including the Sully monument on the TAMU campus. I agree that history must be considered with regard to the Civil War monuments. History is very important. We learn from history. However, most people do not understand the history of when and why the Civil War monuments were erected. I would like to refer you to an article, by Ryan Best, "Confederate Statues Were Never Really About Preserving History," that reviews the history of these monuments. The data described in this article was hand-collected by the Southern Poverty Law Center and excludes any monuments found on or within battlefields, museums, cemeteries or other places that are largely historical in nature. This article can be found on - https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/confederate-statues/ I quote from the beginning of the article, and this answers many of the questions as to whether the monuments are really historical relics and why they should be removed. "An overwhelming majority of Confederate memorials weren’t erected in the years directly following the Civil War. Instead, most were put up decades later. Nor were they built just to commemorate fallen generals and soldiers; they were installed as symbols of white supremacy during periods of U.S. history when Black Americans’ civil rights were aggressively under attack. In total, at least 830 such monuments were constructed across the U.S, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which maintains a comprehensive database of Confederate monuments and symbols." "The biggest spike in Confederate memorials came during the early 1900s, soon after Southern states enacted a number of sweeping laws to disenfranchise Black Americans and segregate society. During this period, more than 400 monuments were built as part of an organized strategy to reshape Civil War history. And this effort was largely spearheaded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who sponsored hundreds of statues, predominantly in the South in the early 20th century — and as recently as 2011." So, yes, people need to learn from history. But you can’t just “make up” history so that it supports your political views. What I learned from the history of Civil War Monuments is that the majority of the monuments were erected in the early 1900's (NOT during or immediately after the Civil War), and the monuments were NOT erected to commemorate Civil War "Heroes" or to act as historical markers of the war. They were erected "to disenfranchise Black Americans and segregate society." In fact, "they were installed as symbols of white supremacy during periods of U.S. history when Black Americans’ civil rights were aggressively under attack." In my mind, these monuments, including the Sully monument on TAMU campus, are emblematic of hate, segregation, and the White Supremacy Movement. These monuments ARE NOT historical relics. The majority vote is of no consequence since the majority of Americans are not affected by these monuments and do not understand the history. If a minority of people in the US, including the minority students at TAMU, are threatened, disenfranchised or imperiled by these non-relic monuments of segregation and hatred, they should be taken down. History supports this.
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