Confederate Monuments in the U.S.’s Crosshairs - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

A woman in Durham, N.C. was arrested and charged with participation in a riot resulting in property damage over $1,500 in mid-August, as well as inciting others to riot—and the property she damaged was a Confederate monument.

It happened as waves of city and county governments are debating the removal of Confederate monuments across the nation.

New Orleans has already begun removing their monuments, starting with one that commemorated white men who tried to overthrow a bi-racial, post-Civil War government. Called the Liberty Monument, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said it was the “most offensive” one the city had.

“If there was ever a statue that needed to be taken down, it’s that one,” Landrieu told the Associated Press.

Proponents agree that taking down Confederate monuments is the right decision.

“White Southerners are still often reluctant to admit the scale of their ancestors’ complicity in slavery. The monuments themselves feature inscriptions that openly bemoan Union victories over the Confederacy, and white supremacists still embrace them as relics of a triumphantly racist age,” says Sarah Jones of New Republic.

But would tearing them down gloss over or attempt to erase our nation’s sometimes-checkered history?

Some think so, including Gary Shapiro of the New York Times.

“Are these statues really ‘monuments’ by our present standards? Or are they rather ‘memorials’?” Shapiro asks. The distinction makes all the difference in the world; monuments serve to praise and celebrate, while memorials serve to help us remember where we were.

What Do You Think?

This is one of the most hotly-debated issues of the year, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether we should keep or tear down our country’s Confederate monuments. Please join the discussion on my Facebook page or on Twitter!

Carlos Gamino