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Erasing history is not a good argument

Erasing history is not a good argument

Erasing history is not a good argument
July 02
17:15 2020

 The long-standing issue over the Confederate monument at the Denton Square is not a light topic in the city of Denton. A new wave of protests over racial injustice in the country further incited the removal of the monument. One side calling for its removal states that the monument represents racism while the other states that the monument represents history. The argument about the monument representing history is a longstanding one and has been used in other elements that represent the Confederacy, like the flag. 

While scrolling on Facebook, there was a comment that argued that monuments are meant to represent the good and bad parts of American history. It should be noted that the American history taught in public schools is already censored and not a reflection of the road taken to get here. My introduction to lynching and Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” was as a junior in high school. Even as a Black woman, a lot of accurate and uncensored American history I learned was in college and documentaries.  

The monument now formerly housed in front of the Denton Courthouse on the Square, was removed Thursday, June 25. While the monument represents a stain in this country’s history, some argue that this is exactly why it should be where it was. This, however, is not a good reasoning being that the Confederacy is a stain in the United States’ history being that it is one of the most infamous examples of treason. 

A monument in a country is supposed to represent honor and strength in moments of history. Arguing that the bad moments in history need be represented on a public stage is unacceptable and irrelevant. When you consider the thorough history that tends to be avoided in order to make a person or institution look like a martyr, it can be concluded that their place in U.S. history is not only unnecessary but a result of the desire to flaunt ignorance. 

Yes, the Confederacy is a part of southern history, but it is also a reminder of an institution that wanted to preserve slavery, i.e. the buying and selling of Black people for economic gain and reassurance of power.

Arguing that the monument is a response to sensitivity or something that someone – in this case, Black people – doesn’t dislike, is a tactic to downplay the effects of racism. This simply writes off the long-term effects of it on society and on an individual and enables the cognitive dissonance associated with white privilege and the constant false sense of self-righteousness. In other words, it is a scapegoat to avoid addressing and confronting the ways you have contributed to prejudices in the world you live in. 

On the one hand, when asking for the preservation of these monuments, you are asking Black people to accept and forget the verbal and extreme physical abuse their ancestors have endured at the hands of supporters of the Confederacy and the slave institution they fought to preserve. The Denton community is diversifying and becoming more conscious. In addition to the removal of the monument, it’s important to consider the changes that can be long-term when it comes to being on top of racial injustice. 

If you want the Confederacy to not be erased, consider the education your children have access to and how committed the system is when making sure that children are taught about the world that they live in. Let this be a lesson in addressing the consequences of enabling such a thing and the consequences this has on the people around them. It takes effort for racism to not be a problem. Using this opportunity to educate oneself is vital. 

Featured Illustration: Srinidhi Shukla

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Jasmine Hicks

Jasmine Hicks

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1 Comment

  1. M
    M July 03, 14:17

    You preserve your history by educating and teaching people what really happened. In Germany Auswitsch and Dachau are preserved as museums to always remember what happened. It displays pictures and videos of the cruelty so generation after generation can see and learn. You will not find any statues of Hitler, Goebbels or other Nazi leaders.
    Here in America the plantations are turned into Wedding venues with B&B and you find statues of every single Confederate. They lost a war caught over continuing slavery!!
    I’m glad the Confederate Soldier is removed.

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