Why Confederate Monuments Should Not Be Torn Down

Why Confederate Monuments Should Not Be Torn Down

You can't hide your history, America

New Orleans (especially the French Quarter) is a city very near and dear to my heart. From the winos on Canal Street to Doreen Ketchens and her clarinet filling the air with sweet music on Royal Street, my heart and soul belong to New Orleans.

On Thursday, city council members voted 6-1 to remove four Confederate statues and monuments, including the 131 year old statue of General Robert E. Lee which stands in the center of Lee Circle.

Robert E. Lee on Lee Circle next to Lee Drive by the Lee Railroad leeleeleelee

The initiative is an attempt by the city to sever ties with Louisiana's Confederate past and move forward into a new age of enlightenment, understanding, and love.

And I am wholly against it.

I am a Southerner, born and raised. I am proud of that fact to no end, especially because our food, manners, and accents just can't be beat.

What I am not proud of is our often-parodied, much-maligned (and rightfully so) history. In fact, the quickest way to get me to shut up about my southern pride is to mention the 1600s to the 1960s. I will never say "heritage, not hate", because whether we like it or not, hate is our heritage. When it comes to the treatment of persons of color, our track records is abysmal, and anybody who can't recite Dale Earnhardt's stats at the drop of a hat will agree.

These monuments to once-venerated men deserve to stand as gleaming reminders of our history mired in prejudice and hatred and warnings against future injustices. These statues should serve as a constant reminder of what we once were and must never allow ourselves to be again. Our national history is not an Instagram profile; we cannot simply delete the unseemly aspects to make ourselves appear to be innocent.

These statues are, over a century after their erection (stop laughing, grow up), no longer points of pride intended to evoke reverence and respect. They are tangible reminders of a not-too-distant time when black Americans were considered property. Of a time of "separate but equal" ideology. Of a time when basic human liberties were still denied to many a mere 30 years before many of my generation were born.

When one sees "Jefferson Davis" emblazoned across a plaque shrouded in patina, disgust should be the instinctive reaction. Disgust, hatred, confusion, the entire gamut of negatively charged emotions. To remove them from the public sight is to confine the tragedies of yesteryear to the classrooms and libraries, where they will become distant, caked with dust and, over time, forgotten.

These symbols of hatred are not time capsules which hold America's prejudices within their copper lining. They are not some kind of Gone-With-the-Wind-themed "Pandora's Box", locked and loaded to fill the world with hate. There is no next step to confronting the horrific ideologies which these men fought to defend after this. Tearing down a statue will not do anything to alter the bigotry that lives on in the hearts and minds of so many. The only thing that this sudden wave of mob mentality will accomplish is relegating America's past to just that; its past. Racial inequality is still a persistent problem in contemporary America and, at the risk of sounding like a pessimist, will more than likely be a problem long after I die. This isn't a matter of mere history. These statues' very existence into the 21st century is an act of defiance against the romanticization of the Old South. The sins committed by these men do not deserve to be forgotten. To remove the statues is to absolve those that they honor, and any attempt to do so is both foolish and insensitive.

Monuments such as these should be treated as the scars on the face of our great nation that they are; we should cringe when we look up at them, we should tense up when we walk past them. These statues should humble us, sadden us, embarrass us, infuriate us, force us to confront the past in our daily routines and consider their implications in the modern day.

So to those advocating for the removal of these statues, attempting to (no pun intended) whitewash history, I say:

You can sweep everything under the rug, but you still won't have a clean house.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.scvtaylorcamp.com/lmfiles/LA-JJ-9a%20-%20New%20Orleans,%20Orleans%20Parish.jpg

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

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Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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21 Tweets About Anti-Vax Children That Will Make Parents Get Their Kids Vaccinated ASAP

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I have compiled 21 tweets about anti-vaccination parents and their children that did not only make me laugh, but made me further enforce my belief that parents need to vaccinate their kids.

These tweets are pretty dark, to be honest, but once you think about the situation at hand, sometimes it is best to approach it in a funny way so you can get your point across.

You have been warned.

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