Recent events in the world have stirred my conscience a bit. Most of the time, I’m a passive person. I tend to let things slide, even to a fault. I don’t get too bothered by the opinions of others, even when they tread on mine. I’m a secure person, and I know why I hold to my beliefs. I’m a man of conviction in most areas of my life. So, when I read about the destruction of landmarks and statues around our country, I became stirred.
To be clear, racism is abhorrent and right thinking and moral people the world over should stomp it out. There will always be racism because people will always be different. That said, we don’t have to like it, and we should do what we can to eradicate it from our families and our immediate influences. If you remember you aren’t owed anything from anybody, and that we are all created in God’s image, racism goes away. I treat all people equally because God made all people as a reflection of his character. A human being has value inherently without my input, or anyone else’s. Every person has value, regardless of their skin color.
With that, the destruction of our historical monument is ill-conceived. For one, it’s breaking the law. There is a right process to remove things. In today’s world, where hurt feeling rule, getting a statue removed peaceably should be an easy task. Second, the monuments themselves represent history more than they represent an ideal. Granted, many of the South’s “ideals” were horrible in regards to slavery, but an image of Stonewall Jackson is just that – an image. It doesn’t represent the hurts of generations of black families. It doesn’t represent the wrongs of generations of white families. It is an image. Now, we can assign meaning to it, sure. We all do in one form or another. For me, I see it as a sign of mistakes corrected and a world I hope we never return to. For others, they embody hate. Whatever it is they represent to you, it doesn’t change their actual status as rock and metal, representing something or someone that has been dead for decades.
I can see the opposing argument. People have hurt other people, and they continue to do so. It’s a sad commentary on living life in society, and frankly, the only fix is time and help from the Almighty. Destroying statues today may feel good for a time, but it only puts a bandage on the gaping wound of past and current indiscretions. The act also seeks to destroy the metanarrative that we are currently hoping to leave behind. When we attempt to eradicate our history, how will we remember what we need to rise above? How will we teach our children, “And this was a time when we hated our neighbor. It was a bad time.”
The struggle to love one another is always present and real. Each of us can do better as we seek to erase the problems of the present while remembering where we’ve come from.