I've talked to two people I care about today who said, in some way, "isn't taking down the Civil War monuments denying our history?"
I would suggest it's not 'denying our history' but refusing to 'celebrate' and 'glorify' a part of our history that was wrong and destructive and is painful to many people in our country. And I would remind us all that those statues did not go up within 10 years of the Civil War's end, but in the 1920's and 1930's as a Jim Crow way of confronting Black Folk.
I, personally, can look at a statue of Robert E. Lee and not feel disgusted. But neither do I feel empowered and proud. I'm a white guy who never lived in the deep south and has lived in New England for 37 years.
Here's my deal. I have qualms about abortion--but I'm not a woman so I support a woman's right to choose. I'll never be pregnant, so I'll listen to women about unwanted pregnancies.
I'm not gay or bi- or trans-. so I will listen to that community on issues that confront them and support them.
I'm not a recent immigrant--though once my family was--so, I'll listen to what recent immigrants--legal and not legal--want and need, and support them.
And I'm not Black. So, though I know "names CAN REALLY HURT YOU", if African Americans want the statues down and the names changed for college buildings and parks, I'm fine with that. It's about them, not me. I'll support them.
I'm very much aware of 'white-straight-male' privilege. I have been 'gifted' by it all my life, even when I didn't realized it. So, knowing I've basked in 'privilege' all my life, I will support what people who have been oppressed because I haven't, wanted from their lives.
Simple as that.
That's where I stand. Ich kann nicht anders, as Martin Luther said.
Nowhere else to stand....
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