Removing Confederate Monuments is a Step Toward Erasing History, Not Racism

By Cory Alexander Haywood    November 10, 2017
Congratulations, Negroes! Go-ahead and give yourselves a pat on the back for finally convincing “massa” to get rid of that old, crusty statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va.
 
If Bojangles were alive today, he’d shine up his little dancing shoes and cut a step or two. Yee Haw!
 
I is sooo happy that massa removed dat big ol piece a metal over dere in Charlottesville. I can feel da Good Lawd smilin’ down on us po black folk. 
 
We headed to da promise land like Dr. King say we would. I’s gon’ be a good nigga for massa, cause he sho been good to us for takin’ his statue down.
 
The banishment of General Lee’s monument from public view has been widely interpreted as a step toward progress within the African American community. 
 
However, this so-called “victory” is a smokescreen; – it’s a political ploy by the White power establishment to pacify the Black masses and deflect attention from the ongoing forces of oppression that continue to plague American ghettos and slums. 
 
This reminds me of when I would visit the doctor’s office as a child. He was gray haired, White, and well into his sixties and would occasionally have to stick me with a needle to inject medication into my body. 
 
After he was done, he would offer me a lollipop so that I would feel better. The candy would distract me from the pricking sensation of that needle, and the pain I felt. 
 
The racist White government is a lot like my old doctor. When Black people experience the pricking sensation of racial injustice, old White men in congress react by passing legislation and offering up solutions that seem beneficial to the Black struggle.
 
Getting rid of Confederate symbols is the government’s way of offering candy to distract Black folk from the ills of racism. 
 
The same applies to Affirmative Action and the election of President Barack Obama — these political ploys gave false hope to an increasingly hope-deprived community, the Black community.
 
A Waste of Effort in Chicago
 
There’s a statue of George Washington, our nation’s first president, that currently towers above the grounds of a blighted park in Chicago, Ill.
 
Black city officials have motioned for the statue removed due to Washington’s well-documented ownership of African slaves, a reality that’s attached to the legacies of several early American presidents and political officials (including Abraham Lincoln, who passed legislation to eradicate slavery despite being a slave-owner himself). 
 
But this is just another example of the democratic party using bait and switch tactics to distract minority supporters from larger issues affecting their communities. 
 
As the homicide rate steadily rises in urban ghettos nationwide, and while unemployment remains disturbingly severe for African Americans, the silver lining is an aggressive push by Democrats to remove old, crusty, hunks of metal.  
 
How helpful. 
   
I recently saw a powerful video of Black Chicago residents who assert that removing Washington’s statue would be ultimately inconsequential.
 
“It won’t stop us from killing each other,” a woman expressed. “It won’t help us find jobs or get better housing. They might as well leave it up there. Taking it down won’t change a damn thing around here.”
 
Watching that video and the astonishing decay of urban neighborhoods in Chicago, I was reminded of how purposeless removing Confederate monuments will be. 
 
Casting them away won’t eliminate the stain of racism deeply entrenched in America’s DNA. It’s merely a quick fix to an extremely complex and stubborn problem.
 
But if you ask the opposition – many of whom counterprotested during Boston’s “free speech” rally last weekend – they’d assert that removing these items would be a massive step toward social reform.
 
I wholeheartedly disagree.
 
Racism comes second to only climate change as the most destructive force on planet Earth. It’s a transferable disease that cannot be tamed by toppling old statues and orchestrating public disturbances.
 
The only way to combat the evils of bigotry is by looking at its face and forcing a conversation. These monuments, despite their hurtful origin, contribute to this country’s 241-year narrative and they merit preserving.    
 
This isn’t worth explaining to liberals – they’d prefer to erase every trace of the Confederacy from American soil. 
 
But the outcome of such lunacy wouldn’t yield tangible results. It would only put a band-aid on this country’s fractured social infrastructure. 
 
The Liberal Mindset 
 
“Trump hysteria” was responsible for the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Va. 
 
This incident characterizes a raging hatred for the president and his allies, but it was framed by the media as a revolt against white supremacy and racist symbolism. 
 
Trump’s critics have cultivated an environment of perpetual contempt for his administration, intensifying the vitriol between themselves and his supporters.  
 
But removing artifacts of American history will do nothing to help erase chronic racism or the delirium surrounding Trump’s polarizing presidency. It’ll only provide sympathizers with fool’s good.
 
Left-wingers often make decisions to “feel good” without considering the potential consequences of their impulsive (and often self-destructive) actions.
 
But when this feeling expires, they return to a state of fear, confusion, irrationality, and paranoia.  
 
That’s because racism is a concept – it’s an invisible force of lethal ignorance beyond which the removal of inanimate objects can even begin to solve. 
 
It should also be noted that racism isn’t a “white disease.” Blacks perpetrate racism, so do Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Jews, and other remaining ethnic groups. 
 
What people must understand is that although racism is classified as a learned behavior, it’s also an inevitable response to the perpetual clashing of conflicting ideologies that spawn from thousands of intermingling countries and cultures across the world. 
 
In America particularly, the moral cleansing of racism is unlikely due to a convergence of diametrically opposed cultural, political, and cultural beliefs and practices swirling within our country’s increasingly diverse landscape. 
 
The cure to racism, in my estimation, isn’t hiding it from our children as if it were never an issue. Confederate monuments, such as the one of Robert E. Lee that was removed in Charlottesville, Va., help to provide context of America’s racially divisive past. 
 
They also pay tribute to the men and women that were instrumental in the development of American history. These structures are the most important of any we have standing in this country because they remind us of darker days.
   
But how can we properly (and in good conscience) teach history to our children without exposing them to the highs and lows of America’s past? 
 
Is it morally correct to shield them from the truth? How can we expect them to avoid the trappings of previous generations, if they aren’t familiar with the entirety of America’s legacy (flaws and all). 
 
To an extent, I understand why these monuments are being plucked from view.
 
I imagine Jewish people would be slightly peeved if during a visit to the White House, they discovered a majestic photo of Hitler displayed in the lobby. 
 
The next several weeks will inevitably spawn more protests against racist symbolism. 
 
But these demonstrations won’t mitigate the racial tension building throughout the country. 
 
This is simply another plot twist in America’s ongoing race problem. It’s an appetizer to the inevitable main course: Civil War.
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