Following the protests and violence in Charlottesville, (wherein groups of torch-bearing alt-right protesters gathered for a “Unite the Right” rally which quickly became violent when James Alex Fields drove a car into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring 19), citizens, reportedly, began pressuring their city officials to take down remaining Confederate monuments, therefore, despite Trump’s blatant adoration for these disgusting statues (or as he described them: “beautiful” monuments which “will be greatly missed”) at least 25 statues around the United States have been removed in the past week, including monuments in: Florida, New York, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, North Carolina and many more.
From Florida to North Carolina, it seems as if most of the United States has finally come to the realization that we shouldn’t commemorate racists with statues, with the most recent removal being in Texas, wherein the University of Texas removed four statues of Confederate figures. The University President announced his decision by stating: the “horrific displays of hatred” in Charlottesville have made it evident that these monuments have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.” He went on to say that he considered the historical and cultural importance of said monuments but it was “severely compromised by what they symbolize,” that symbolization being the “subjugation of African Americans.” Although some people argued against the removal of the statues, with one student stating: “I hate the erasure of history and my people’s history,” the statues were still taken down, because some history belongs in the history books and not on a pedestal for anyone to admire.
The destruction of these statues represents a step forward in erasing the pedestal and power that is given to these Nazis and white supremacists, with their only claim to “oppression” being the removal of Confederate monuments. It proves that if we refuse to remain silent and continue to fight against injustice and, at this point, idiocy, we will eventually reach a point where future generations of people of color will not have to suffer through what we have had to for centuries on end. We may be far away from that point now but with each injustice we fight, each protest we attend and each statue we take down, we’re taking more steps towards this future and we will eventually stop history from perpetually repeating itself, so when we’re 80 years old and watching the news, we won’t see the same issues still affecting society.
Photo by Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN