A war that lasted for four years. The bloodiest war in American history. Those that used to be brothers, fighting and killing each other over a difference in ideals. The American Civil War ended over 152 years ago, yet today the Confederate Flag still continues to fly in the country that it fought against. In today’s society, you can still find this flag as much as the American flag, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 718 monuments dedicated to the Confederate Army still stand in the U.S. today. But what is it these monuments actually represent? To some it represents preserving a lifestyle, it’s a way of life; to others it represents hate and promotes slavery.
Should these monuments come down, though? As ugly as the Civil War was, it is still part of our history, and to remove parts of our history puts us at risk of repeating it. These statues preserve our history and remind us to not go backwards. But if it takes monuments of people who killed fellow Americans to remind us that slavery is bad, then we are doing something wrong as a nation. There are other ways to preserve history, especially with things like this. I don’t believe Confederate history should be erased; however, I don’t believe that people who fought against the Union should be displayed prominently in our streets. Let us not forget these traitors to the U.S., which is strange when you think about their portrayal.
It’s obvious what these statues represent and why they were erected. Ever wonder why there are no statues of Hitler in Germany? Yeah, me neither. A statue of him would obviously represent Nazism and everything it stood for, the same way that these statues represent the Confederates’ effort to extend slavery. 718 statues dedicated to a rebellion, dedicated to a group that fought and killed its own people to keep slavery. Instead of letting these statues stand, why not build monuments to those African Americans who made a difference and to those who made strides for civil rights? Provide both sides of the story. Then we can teach future generations this ugly past in a light that will prevent those atrocities from ever happening again.