BRM 2017 June 2017 - Page 48

It’s not just Black & White: A Southerner’s Perspective

By mqqnie

Statues of Confederate “heroes” that have stood for over 100 years, are being taken down in New Orleans, Louisiana. I couldn’t justify writing an article on this phenomenon without first doing my research, and asking questions of those around me, some from the south, and another from Germany. I asked my girlfriend from Germany, how she would react if a statue of Hitler had been standing for over 100 years, and it was to be removed. She told me there is no comparison. I think there is.

These statues of the Confederate “heroes” stand for ignorance and hate, in a time where ignorance and hate were rampant. General Robert E. Lee was an American General known for commanding the Confederate Army; Lee has been praised by many for his tactical brilliance, and remains a revered figured in the South. Jefferson Davis was a president of the pro-slavery Confederacy, and a confederate General. P. G. T. Beauregard was a Southern military officer, politician, inventor, writer, civil servant, and the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army. Another statue was removed as well, and all of these statues being removed WILL be put into a museum, where they belong.

My girlfriend from Germany told me to ask other Southerner’s opinions, I am from the South, and I know without a shadow of a doubt what their answer would be, I’ve heard it too many times to count. I would ask them, “Why do you want these statues to stand in the streets of New Orleans?”, and their answer would be in a very loud, obnoxious voice with a hint of a Southern accent, “BECAUSE IT’S PART OF MA’ HISTORY!!” Yes, it IS a part of history, but it is a sad part of history, it is a negative part of history, it is a history of hate and ignorance where blacks were hung by trees on the side of the road simply because of their color. It is a history where the houses of blacks were burned to the ground, women and children inside to suffer and die, for what sins? For the “sin” of being black of skin? It is an evil, and horrible and despicable history that does NOT need to be paraded in the streets of a city as beautiful and as magical as the city of New Orleans.

As a proud person of the South, I ask why keep up a historical monument for something that was a complete failure? The South LOST, get over it. Slavery is no longer practiced, nor legal, thank God. Why keep something representative of hatred and murder standing in the streets of such a beautiful city? Put them in a museum, where they belong, where they can stand in all of their regalia and teach a history of ignorance and hatred. Put them to stand in a museum to remind this generation NOT to do what the past generation did. Put them to stand in a museum to remind people how hate filled our world once was, and how beautiful it is now, in comparison.

These statues were a good idea, at the time. At the time the South was so proud to honor murderers who fought to keep slavery alive. This time is over, and as this world changes, as this earth changes, all we can do is go along for the ride and be open enough to change with it. I had to get the opinion of my daughter, because she loves learning about history and wars and such. When I asked her opinion on these statues representative of those who fought to keep slavery, she says, and I quote “take those f#$&@&s down!!” She echoed the same sentiment as my girlfriend from Germany. I wholeheartedly agree, STOP the negativity, STOP the hate, and take those f#$&@&s down.