Confederate Statues Are Not History
I may be a bit late to the party typing this, but it is most definitely something that I need to get off my chest. Statues are not history, they have never been part of history, and they never will be.
Before I go on I will clarify, in the context of this post, statues and monuments are two different things. I think we can agree that a monument of soldiers honoring those who died in WW2 for instance, is different from a statue of Nelson Mandela or Churchill, well, at least in my head they’re different.
My whole thought process here stems from the recent outcries associated with the tearing down of Confederate statues in the States, I’m not from the US, not that it matters, the issues with this topic are universal.
My number one issue with statues, as well as those who are vehemently against them being torn down, is the fact that they are of the opinion that removing statues is “erasing history”
They say that by removing these statues and removing those who represent either racism or slavery or whatever, we are doomed to repeat their mistakes.
Someone needs to explain to me how the f*ck removing a statue of a slave owner is going to doom us to repeating slavery? Because that’s what these statue defenders are saying. If we remove all the statues of people who owned slaves and perpetuated slavery, we will all go back to owning black people and other people of color as slaves.
Have you ever heard something so absolutely ridiculous in your life? Barely anyone needs reminding that slavery is bad, and we haven’t go back to being slave owners because the statues exist, it’s obviously because we know better.
Yes, I may be taking what the statue defenders say a bit too literally, but you understand my point. We have millions of books, studies, papers, TV shows, movies, museums, all mediums that not only remind us of past atrocities but in most cases, take an educational approach.
This is where my second issue comes in. Statues are 100% put up to glorify the subject of the statue. That is it, that is the only reason they exist. Not to educate, but to glorify.
I live in South Africa, and you’re telling me that all the statues of Nelson Mandela exist to educate people about him? Or are they there to praise a man who made a real, positive change for his people and country, and the statues are there to celebrate the man?
Do people only understand what he did and stood for once they see the statues? Or, and this is wild I know, do they know who he is because they used actual educational material to find out and not a statue?
Again, my logic applies, if we remove all the statues of Nelson Mandela in my country are we going to forget who he is? What he did? Of course not. I’m obviously not saying we should, we definitely shouldn’t, they’re quite nice statues actually.
The point I am trying to make is that whether or not you agree with the subject of the statue, there is still no reason for the statue to exist. In the case of statutes that actually represent a person who spread and accepted racism, slavery, etc, there is no question that the statue should be removed.
Also, what difference does it make? What difference does it make if the statue is removed and put in a museum, put in context? Zero, it makes zero difference.
I am definitely of the opinion that most statue defenders don’t actually give two shits about the statues, they’re just anti-whatever group wants them removed, in the case of the States, BLM. But that’s a whole different post.
I won’t rant on for much longer, just the fact that this is even a discussion is mind-blowing. They’re just hunks of stone, quartz, granite, whatever. It’s just a goddamn statue people.