Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Of course the US can never "erase" the Confederacy any more than Germany can ever expunge the memory of Hitler or the Holocaust.
Those memories should be preserved but only to inspire horror and disgust which is all they deserve and all they ever deserved.
Why did it take us so long to realize this?
In Germany, they do not allow memorials to Hitler or any of his henchmen. Why should we allow statues of Confederate traitors and slavers to have places of honor anywhere in the US? What does it say about us that we honor them or that we suffer them to be honored?
Until very recently I thought Confederate monuments might be placed in museums where they could be preserved as history in an appropriate context.
Seemed like a decent liberal compromise . . .
Maybe . . .
But what if those corners of the museums turned into racist shrines for hate and fascism?
How do we “compromise” with hate?
How do we “compromise” with ignorance?
How do we do that when it is all around us and inside us?
White Supremacy racism is like a virus. A deadly one.
We can’t see it but it affects everything we see, everything we do, and everything we think or say.
White Supremacy racism even infects “colored” people with the worst kind of hate and disgust, SELF hate and self disgust. And it is the worst kind of self hate and self disgust because it is constantly enforced from the OUTSIDE even as it simmers or erupts in the inside. It is enforced on the outside too many times in too many ways by media images, by brutal police, by ignorant sales people, by harried passers by, and even by very “nice” teachers.
And it keeps on happening, with no easy "cures" or solutions. The pain will endure for generations to come even if we could KILL the infection. But is that a reason not to?
And we wonder why we are having a difficult time deciding what to do about a steady stream of vicious lynchings that happen so regularly and just won’t stop? Would it help if we understood that people of "color" are not the only ones damaged on the outside and on the inside by White Supremacy? (Some people might be too deeply dug into their hatred.) How do we compromise? The haters know how to turn our values regarding compromise, free speech, and justice against us. They know how to turn those values against themselves and twist them into ugly mockeries. What traumas led them that way? How do we compromise with a virus? How do we compromise with hate? Some people might say even if we got rid of every emblem of the Confederacy on every state flag, people would still nurture hate in their hearts. Those people know what they are talking about and are probably right. Some people say that even if we smashed every Confederate monument, it would only inflame their hatred. Those people know what they are talking about. Those people are probably right. We should do it anyway. Even if new symbols of hate and spite and ignorance are forged in their place. We should do it anyway. Get rid of them!
And be vigilant for the next wave which will surly come, which is surly surging already now.
Get rid of them.
And brace yourself.
*********************** Joe Panzica is the creator of Democracy STRUGGLE'S. He is also the author of the unpublished Saint Gredible and Her Fat Dad's Mass and is working on a second novel: I Want to be Evil.