…. and I think we should take down all the Confederate monuments and put them in museums or some type of memorialized area, out of public view. This way the monuments will be safe and protected, people can still go visit them whenever they want, and they will still be an important part of our history.
Right? Just like we put Indians on reservations, safe and protected, and part of our history. It’s not like we only remember them when they’re protesting pipelines or whatever.
We are not a stupid people, and we will not rewrite or forget history. Right?
I’m a yankee living in the south, a few hours south of the heart of the Confederacy. What I think and feel and believe about southern heritage means very little to people who have lived here all their lives. My neighbors and friends are heartbroken that Confederate monuments are being removed because they see value in its history. As an outsider why should I have a say about southern heritage? Well, for one because we all live here in these United States. I am forced to examine the words. What is southern heritage? How about northern heritage? Is there such a thing, and what does that look like? Money? Liberalism? Industry? Politics? The arts? What is western heritage, and what does that look like? Do we have a tex-mex heritage, or a far-northwestern heritage, those folks in Seattle or Idaho? What does mid-western heritage look like, what kind of flag do they fly to represent their mid-western ways? What does heritage mean by definition, and to me personally, and to each person in our country, and have we relinquished the word in favor of stereotype? I don’t know.
My paternal family came from England and Ireland. My maternal family have English and Dutch backgrounds. I was so proud of my Irish “heritage,” something that I could only touch by way of poetry and song. I burnished that pride based on the heroics of Cormac but didn’t trouble myself too much to understand the Troubles, and they certainly weren’t Troubles I lived through and can recall firsthand. I have a Heinz 57 bloodline, as do most of us, so I no longer fly anyone’s flag in pride. Right now, I’m just trying to figure out how to preserve history, to heal wounds, to discover what fellowship and unity and taking care of each other means and what we have to do to get there.