The tensions over Confederate statues and symbols is rightfully bringing our history and racial division into focus.
I would highly hope these statues are not destroyed. They are a part of America’s long struggle with racial inequality and belong in museums to document the original sin of the nation.
They do not belong in public places of national worship or admiration for patriotism, but they are of immense historical significance. For example, many present Confederate warriors on horses with a pose of equestrian majesty going all the way back to the sculpture of the Italian Renaissance.
Those who decide they wish to publicly deface or destroy these jewels of history (rightly or wrongly) are similar to ISIS members destroying earlier religious sites or ruins of civilizations that predate their culture.
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We cannot afford to lose the continuity with history. But we can remove such statues as a precedent and rallying point for ideology, regardless of how healthy and overdue this debate is needed to heal the nation.