Confederate statues cause Controversy

Many protesters are wanting to have the confederate flag displayed in a museum instead of on a flag pole

Many protesters are wanting to have the confederate flag displayed in a museum instead of on a flag pole

Many protesters are wanting to have the confederate flag displayed in a museum instead of on a flag pole

Lisa Lilianstrom, Staff Writer

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George Santayana once said: “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

That is why we often learn about important events in History course throughout our education. That is also why we have museums, statues, memorials, and evidentally history classes.

We learn about history so then we don’t end up repeating it.

On August 11-12, there was a rally called “Unite The Right” that took place in Charlottesville, VA. Groups that gathered in the “Unite the Right” celebration included white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-confederates, and neo-Nazis.

When I first heard the news it made me angry. I was thinking, “When did we go back in time?” “Why is this happening in 2017?” “What made those people think that way?” There was just so many things going through my mind at that point.

After the rally happened, many activists requested the removal of several confederate statues, memorials, and some civil war battlegrounds as well. In one instance, a Confederate statue was psychically torn down by protesters. Activists also petitioned to replace a statue of Robert E. Lee with a statue of rapper Missy Elliot.

Having seen some of those statues and monuments myself, I did want to learn more about them. After my own research, I must admit I was very shocked to learn about this particular history.

My ancestors fought against the confederates and the Nazis. My family, for the most part, is on the right side of history. If someone ever accused me or my family for racism, we would tell them that we were on their side, we were the good guys.

By keeping them, people will want to know more about what happened during that time. On the other hand, however, people may feel uncomfortable or offended and think that this kind of stuff should be in a museum and not in public.

Recently, I attended an event where Elgin Community College History professors gave their views on this controversial topic. The event was well attended, consisting of other faculty members, students, and bulked students from various history classes. After the professors express their opinions, almost everyone in the audience had questions.

“Removing confederate symbols is not erasing history, but challenging white supremacist interpretations of history and removing confederate symbols is taking a stand for full equality for African Americans in the United States,” said, history professor, Antonio Ramirez.

I am against any kind of hate. I am known to have several friends of all different skin colors, religions, sexualities, that all come from different walks of life. I fully condemn these acts of hate. Although, many may consider this as free speech, it seems like anything can be free speech nowadays.

While yes, those statues and flags may make people uncomfortable, I can understand that, it is also a reminder that we need to do better. We, as the people of this country, need to learn from others mistakes. We must learn from tragedy. We must learn from those who came before us. We must learn in order to have a better tomorrow.



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Confederate statues cause Controversy