I’ve seen a few posts decrying the removal of these monuments, usually making reference to Orwell’s 1984 and the rewriting of history.
I appreciate these monuments symbolize something positive to many people: resilience, independence. To many others, they symbolize hate, fear, suffering, and alienation. And I think its reasonable to make decisions balancing these factors when considering public areas and displays.
In this case, these monuments do not symbolize the best aspects of American culture, rather some of the worst: the use of terror and violence to achieve an ignoble goal. And because of that, moving them out of the high traffic, high visibility areas seems extremely reasonable.
History isn’t being re-written. These monuments aren’t being destroyed. And I hope that most Americans will rally against whomever attempts to re-write history if it does come to pass: I know I will be there.
Remembering the bloodiest, most destructive war in America’s history is important, along with the variety of activities and organizations following it; but we can do that while still changing how we display the memories of those events.
New Orleans’ Mayor’s speech on this is excellent in my opinion. (Fair warning, includes racial microaggressions such as “melting pot”)