History is not like a blackboard – you cannot erase what is offensive

05 Sep History is not like a blackboard – you cannot erase what is offensive

Since the idea for a Reconstruction Era Monument was proposed  twenty years it has been opposed, until last year, by the Sons of the Confederacy.  When the proposal was resurrected late last year, the Sons of the Confederacy did not oppose the measure and for that I commend them. There are parts of the story they dislike or disbelieve, but they quietly agreed to let the monument become a reality.

History is not like a blackboard – you cannot erase what is offensive to some and replace it with something that better fits you taste of values.  The good news is that in time historians, teachers, students and the public can add stories and interpretations to the continuum of history as it unrolls and/or a civilization is willing to look at things in new ways.

One of the principal reasons historians worked long and hard to create a Reconstruction Era Monument is that they believed it would create the impetus to learn and share more about parts of the American Story that were never written with its details fleshed and included in the big story of our great nation.

There are parts of history that some believe are true while others do not. There have been times when history has been hijacked and been abused with untruths or partial truths revealed and amended. I am not just thinking of flags and/or monuments.  To completely erase them is a disservice to history and the public. To amend them is to include additional interpretations that makes sense.

Understanding history is important today as it shapes the minds that create the future.

Each of the statues, monuments and stories must be evaluated. Some may have to be removed or moved to a more appropriate place.

While Mayor Tecklenburg and his historical commission have their work cut out for them I think they are headed in the right direction and are setting a standard for better understanding and a more civilized society.

A final remark, however, is no matter what happens to the statues/monuments we cannot tolerate there being hijacked by racists, hate groups and people who want to use them to divide us.  We must come together in peace to look at where we have come from, what we have done right, what we have done wrong and move forward as a united humanity to leave a more  knowledgeable and understanding generation to move us forward long after you and I are no longer here.

That is our responsibility in Beaufort the state and the nation. Read about the Mayor’s approach which on the face of it makes very good sense and is a fair and enlightened approach.

The Following was extracted from Andy Brack’s State House Report

Let’s take a new middle road on Confederate monuments