Charlottesville Opinion

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As many are aware, protesters gathered recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, for a “Unite the Right” protest. The protest quickly escalated from a peaceful rally to a violent outcry.

The original protest centered around the proposed removal a statue of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park. White supremacists and nationalists were dismayed by the plan to remove Lee’s statue — some because they think the General deserves to be recognized for his place in history, but others — and those who were most vocal — believe that whites are the superior race and the Confederacy recognizes that.

Understandably, those who disagree with that, including African Americans who were enslaved by the Confederacy, are offended by sculptures of Lee because it commemorates the “dark days” of slavery.

I am one of those. I am anti-Confederacy, which puts me at about the same place as most people of color in this situation. I believe that people who do not desire to be reminded of a  past that hurt them or their loved ones, should not be forced to. Imagine that someone in your family or someone close to your heart was in some way affected by slavery, it would be understandable for someone to be disturbed by that, too. Considering this, I believe that the officials who originally proposed the Robert E. Lee statue be removed should proceed with this movement.

Lee’s statue is a way of honoring his part in the Confederacy, and the Confederacy was a part of history that does not deserve to be honored. If there were a statue standing in Germany of Adolf Hitler, it would be justifiable for the Jewish people to feel ashamed of what happened in the past. Yet, others blatantly choose to ignore this and honor Hitler, even though what he was doing was reprehensible. How is the Lee statue any different? Answer; it’s not. This further demonstrates that the presence of the Lee statue is a shameful and harsh reminder of a lurid past, and should be abolished, as to not force the memory of a time undeserving of praise.

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