The book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu, is a humbling read.
I found it to be a sobering experience punctuated with introspection–that I have been complicit in the acceptance of Confederate statues. The statues were not erected in an historical nature. They were erected to memorialize men who fought against our country. They were erected to memorialize men who supported the abomination known as slavery. They were erected to protest the advancement of civil rights under the guise of honoring those that opposed it. They were erected in defiance of the advancement of the oppressed. They were erected for less-than-noble purposes and have lasted for less-than-noble purposes.
It is not re-writing history to bring them down. To bring them down is to acknowledge past wrongs and to move on in a positive fashion. Inaction is equivalent to accepting them and their message. It is time to continue to do the right thing and bring them down. Only then can the healing process actually begin. Healing in this situation is a combination of understanding, empathy and action. Mitch Landrieu provides a great template for the process. I hope that we listen.