I have little sympathy with the sort of person who finds it necessary to topple a statue in order to make a point. It is, simply put, an act of criminal damage and the sort of thing decent people don’t engage in. By all means protest, but let’s avoid violence.
At the same time, it’s not difficult to understand the frustration surrounding statues dedicated to the memory of the Confederate dead.
Across our land there are multiple peoples whose reason for being in the United States is irrevocably tied to their forceable abduction from their homeland, conversion (legally) into chattel (personal property), and subsequent abuse and systematic dehumanization and disenfranchisement.
And with the North Carolina General Assembly somehow disconnected with reality, its difficult to imagine them taking any sort of leadership on unifying the state in any meaningful way.
I have no wish to dishonor the memory of the war dead, of the Civil War or any war. Confederate soldiers fought for their state, for their principles, and they offered the ultimate sacrifice for them.
This is true of both sides in every major conflict. The cause may have been wrong, misled, or immoral, but it is a small person who cannot honor one who laid their life down for it.
I come from a line of soldiers, and though not one myself, am keenly aware of the importance of honoring sacrifice.
One of my forefathers has fought for the Crown in most of the conflicts of the Twentieth Century–from Dublin to the Transvaal, from Jakarta to Aden. In many of these instances Her Majesty’s forces were engaging in force for the purpose of keeping peace around the Empire. The exception being World War II.
There are those who might look upon monuments to their memory as a different Silent Sam. On one level, of course, they’d be right. At the same time, it’s easy to be indignant from a distance of centuries.
Should the statue be moved? Yes.
I see no reason to destroy it, but to move to a different and less conspicuous place. And for God’s sake let’s make sure to honor the sacrifices of others–those whose bodies and lives were taken from them and sold into slavery–and repent of the sin that brought that practice into being.