To say this is an erasure of history is false. It is reconciliation of history.
In South Africa, after Apartheid, they cleansed themselves of the misdeeds of their society by having a Truth and Reconciliation. What is that?
If somebody robs you, we have a system in place for the police to seek out that person, arrest them, and then this person must stand before you and a judge and jury to face consequences.
On a societal level, we punished Nazis for their crimes of genocide following what they did. They faced truth and reconciliation at the Hague.
The people who perpetrated slavery, genocide, and Jim Crow are not alive today. We continue to honor them in statue form. But as a recent brilliant Medium essay pointed out, minorities are not upset TODAY about historic racism. They are upset about things that are happening TODAY. Things like white people getting more upset about a dog being shot by the police than Philando Castile being shot. Or white people being able to see that the nurse being manhandled by the police officer was losing her rights, but being unable to see it when it happens in video after video of black people losing their rights.
So, that brings us back to this ridilcous notion that there is a slippery slope from Confederate Statues to Revolutionary War Statues.
It is Easy to Answer Why Washington or Jefferson is Better Than Jackson!
It is called progression of freedom. Did you take a step forward or backward?
There is no question that Presidents Washington and Jefferson are flawed men. As Founding Fathers, they have the legacy of slavery forever in their history. Maybe they agonized over it. Maybe they didn’t. Either way, they participated in it. We won’t even get into Washington’s interactions with Native Americans in military campaigns.
But recently, Confederate monument supporters (e.g. Trump) have tried in the course of their arguments to say that a President like Andrew Jackson cannot be judged for his genocidal record, because then we would end up judging Washington and Jefferson, and their monuments would soon come down. I guess.
Once again, we should be having honest conversations about Washington and Jefferson. Books like Howard Zinn’s, People’s History of the United States, that make conservatives pee their pants when they are used as textbooks, need wider — much wider — spread across the country. We need to know how Washington treated his men during war. When it turns out that there are some bad stories, once again, the man was not a saint.
Why do we still honor Washington and Jefferson as liberals, but not Jackson, if they are so flawed? Washington and Jefferson lived an entire half century before Jackson did. They did not forward liberty for everyone. No, they did not. They do not deserve credit for doing so. We should not turn from these truths of history. But, they forwarded freedom for a portion of the population in a way that had never been done before. Each in his own way.
Now, let’s look at Jackson. Did he forward anyone’s freedom? No! He took it away from people. He ended the lives of untold thousands of Native Americans in his Trail of Tears and in his military campaigns. He is known to have massacred slaves. He said abolitionists deserved to die.
Andrew Jackson Directly Caused More Deaths On U.S. Soil Than 9/11
Only a year into his presidency, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act — leading to one of the darkest moments…
If conservatives ever struggle to understand why liberals would honor a given President or historical figure with a monument, and not another one, here’s a handy guide:
Just remember to ask yourself, “Did they actually forward progress?”
So why bring down the Confederate flags, statues, and monuments? We know they were put up in a rush during the Jim Crow era as a means of intimidation toward black people. The very picture with this article shows the cheaply made nature of the statue. That is because the statues were put up so rapidly during this period of terrorizing black people that they are just junk.
So don’t buy the history hype. If you want to remember the history accurately. Take down the statue, and put a statue of a slave being whipped. We have truth and reconciliation to face. It’s high time white people admitted what happened. The United States has tried to tell an alternative history for 150 years. We can just tell the truth now. It won’t hurt. I promise.