When Confederate statue haters in Charlottesville, Virginia, demanded the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument, setting the stage for what became a violent clash between history preservationists and history destroyers, the local governing powers-who-be folded to P.C. pressures and voted 3-2 to remove the statue.
Win one for the ignorant.
Tennessee decided to go a different route. Instead of tearing down, Tennessee officials decided to build up — and in so doing, maintained Confederate history while adding context and alternate viewpoints. This is how you defeat ignorance. This is how you ultimately heal a nation.
“Tennessee City Adds Statue for Black Civil War Soldiers,” U.S. News wrote in a headline.
When the same type of whitewashing mentality took root in the minds of Franklin city pastors, and they banded and called for the removal of a Confederate statue located in the main square — a monument that had been placed in 1899 by the daughters of the Confederacy — they were confronted with resistance of a different kind. Instead of tearing down, the argument was to build more.
From U.S. News, the backstory: “Four years ago, a … riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, led pastors in the Tennessee city of Franklin to call for the removal of a Confederate monument in their town square. A lawsuit and political maneuverings made that impractical, but a local leader of a Civil War history nonprofit had a different idea. Instead of tearing the statue down, a new statue and historical markers could be erected to tell a fuller story of the Civil War — one that included the horrors of slavery and the black people who fought to end it.”
What a concept.
Adding to history — instead of taking away from history.
If local governments across the state stood similarly firm — if local officials across the nation told angry, ignorant, oft-anti-America, anti-capitalism, anti-Constitution and utterly uninformed and uneducated mob protesters to take a hike when their anti-America, anti-Constitution selves came calling — if local public servants offered to add to historical monuments and decried any plan to tear down — if, if, if that were the common response to these egregious attempts to whitewash America’s history, well then, the nation would be a better place.
The nation would be a calmer place.
The haters would have no cause to hate. And the hired thugs and strategically assembled thuggish types would have no cause to scream.
That’s the way to put racism back in its box; that’s the way to unite, not divide: one additional monument at a time.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.