Mixed message in statue stance
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017 12:13 pm
I am somewhat puzzled by the article from assistant editor Bruce Campbell regarding the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia over the proposed removal of a General Robert E. Lee statue.
Regardless of the historical significance of the statue, Mr. Campbell agrees that the statue of General Lee should be removed because Lee supported slavery. The article goes on to mention the proud American University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson.
This pride in a university that was founded by a man who owned hundreds of slaves in his lifetime seems somewhat contradictory. It seems quite likely that this university has plaques and monuments that are complimentary to its founder, which would clearly be something to be ashamed of, just as the statue of General Lee is.
If we follow the view of many, that any and all monuments to those who supported slavery should not be considered of any historical value to the USA, but instead, should all be torn down, then surely the University of Virginia should be torn down as well.
Anything that has been founded by a slave owner surely must not be allowed to stand. At the very least, all of the numerous memorials to Thomas Jefferson throughout the USA should now be obliterated.
Or is there a different standard for one of the founding fathers of the nation who was also the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, who just happened to own numerous slaves because of the profit it brought him?
We know that the winners of wars have always written the history of that time, but in this case, 150 years after the fact, some factions in the U.S. seem determined to destroy large portions of the history of the South and the memory of many of the larger than life individuals who were a part of the forging of the United States of America.