george washington statue

Should Monuments of Our Founding Fathers Be Removed?

With this summer’s Black Lives Matter movement, many racial injustice issues have been brought to light, and people around the United States and the world are demanding change, socially and systemically. Across the nation, we saw protesters toppling and vandalizing statues of historical figures ranging from the founding fathers to war leaders.

 

The United States has a complicated history. We have our founding fathers, who dedicated their lives to the creation of our government, which they should be celebrated for. But, if we look at their morals and character, we would potentially see some as inhumane. Because we are in the age of information, most everyone should be able to recognize these questionable attributes about the founding fathers. We should stop idealizing our forefathers and instead recognize their contributions along with their faults. The defacing of the monuments exudes the truth about the morals held by leaders of the time. The removal of statues erases glorification of the founding fathers. I believe that the removal of forefathers’ statues or monuments is purely symbolic; the people want systemic change. If all they accomplished was removing a statue, their mission would be a failure. This is why, on my agenda, removing statues of forefathers should not be the single priority. Proactive changes for this issue could start with an accurate and factual depiction of our United States history from the multiple perspectives involved.

 

Statues of Confederate soldiers are a different story: they represent an extremely ugly and treasonous time in US history.

 

Statues of Confederate soldiers are a different story: they represent an extremely ugly and treasonous time in US history, when the south seceded and fought against the United States in the Civil War. Statues and monuments are ways to celebrate people who progressed America forward, not who attempted to keep America stuck in its horrific racist ways. In fact, almost all of the statues celebrating the Confederacy were built 50-60 years after the war, during the Jim Crow era of segregation, in an attempt by local governments to intimidate Black people integrating into white areas. Protesters who vandalize monuments such as Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Finis Davis have many just reasons to do so. The statues are an unnecessary daily reminder of an unjust past and should be replaced by community leaders who helped pave the way toward equality for all.

 

To those who claim history will be lost if a Confederate statue is removed, it won’t. And besides, you do not learn completely about a subject by reading three sentences on a rusted plaque below a statue of a guy in a Confederate uniform.

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