In his article of Aug. 21, “I detest our Confederate monuments. But they should remain,” professor Lawrence Kuznar eloquently made clear his stance against racism, as expected from any educated person.
However, removing the statues is not “whitewashing our history.”
To let them stand “to remind ourselves of what we are and are not” and “educate our children” serves no purpose if these monuments are displayed in peaceful settings amid flowers and manicured lawns.
Auschwitz and Dachau are not “mute testimonials.” They are stark, tragic, well-documented places that shout to the visitor the horrors that took place there should never again be repeated.
In Germany, sections of the Berlin Wall and Nuremberg’s Dokumentation Center are not displayed as sources of pride, but rather as grim reminders of Germany’s painful history of the last century.
They serve to instruct everyone, including young German students, the terrible truths of what happened and the lessons to be learned from them. Thus, these objects truly do become tools of education that help new generations understand the past and enhance the future.
Like the professor, I cringe at the destruction carried out globally across the ages whenever one civilization or ideology has replaced another.
But the Confederacy was a different matter.
Its philosophy that whites are a superior race was clearly stated by its vice president, Alexander Stephens. Such thoughts do not merit statues or monuments.
If some statues have artistic value, move them into institutions that document the historical truth of the Civil War.
If one cannot be moved, like Stone Mountain in Georgia, it should be admired for the engineering feat that it is with clear information given on the racist beliefs espoused by the figures portrayed.