One Man Had The Perfect Response To Folks Worried That Removing Statues Erases History

Jamil Smith makes an excellent point.

Following the deadly clash between various alt-right groups and counter-protesters at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month over the proposed removal of Robert E. Lee statue, Confederate symbols nationwide became the center of a heated debate. 

While local governments in many cities across the country (such as Lexington, Kentucky and Baltimore, Maryland) have already removed their own Confederate statues in the wake of the violence and unrest in Charlottesville, some elected officials in locales with Confederate monuments have argued removing them is akin to erasing a portion of history — and journalists like Jamil Smith are holding them to account.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, for example, has stated Confederate monuments in his state are staying put for now. "It's important that people know our history," he told the Arizona Capitol Times on August 14 of his decision to keep the monuments in place. "I don't think we should try to hide our history."

In response, two Arizona residents — Rebecca Olsen McHood and Cynthia Lehigh — decided to "redecorate" a Confederate monument in Phoenix and are petitioning Gov. Ducey to hold a hearing about what will become of the symbol. "Neither Cynthia nor I condone violence or vandalism and we both call upon the governor to take down the monument," McHood told A Plus last week.

Smith had a slightly different, but just as impactful response to the "erasing history" argument. In a tweet from August 16, Smith encouraged those worried about removing a portion of our history to look to another source — books.

Smith's clever and concise observation has been retweeted nearly 80,000 times and liked over 232,000 times. According to HuffPost, the tweet has also received its fair share of cheeky responses that help prove Smith's point.

One Twitter user quipped, "I only know about ducks because I saw that giant rubber one on TV that one time," while another explained he only learned about the movie Rocky by visiting the Rocky statue in Philadelphia.  

Dozens of people in Smith's comments also mentioned museums are a great way to learn about the past. Germany, for example, doesn't have any Nazi monuments, but the country does have a number of museums and dozens of other tributes to the Holocaust's millions of victims. 

The Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect, a U.S.-based organization, has itself weighed in on Twitter regarding the Confederacy's legacy.

Cover image via Shutterstock / Siouxsnapp


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