By HANNAH STEELE – Do confederate monuments represent an honorable heritage, or a sanitized view of racism? This seems to be the burning question across America as dozens of historical confederate monuments are being retired throughout numerous states.
After the violent actions that happened in Charlottesville regarding a white supremacist rally, attention was brought to the numerous Confederate statues around the country. Monuments representing Robert E. Lee are the most popular to be removed, among other civil war figures like Roger Taney, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis.
Because of the controversy, some wondered if history would be taught a different way in school. Mr. Scott Mossgrove, a history teacher at IHS, had this to say, “I don’t think that this will change how history is taught here. I’m a firm believer that history teaches us lessons and that we learn from our past.”
Mossgrove continued, “I think that as we approach history here [at IHS], we provide those options. As teachers, we don’t share our opinions one way or another, it is our job to help you form your own opinion. This is a current event that we will discuss in class, but not something that will alter the way history is taught.”
Sophomore Nick Shaffer has a strong opinion about the removal of the monuments, “I don’t think that the statues should be removed because they are a part of our history whether we like it or not. America needs to reflect on its past mistakes, not erase them.”
Theresa Lamantia, a junior, passionately affirmed, “I personally believe that the statues should remain standing. By leaving the statues up, racism is not being supported, but instead, citizens are being educated about vital U.S. history.”
Avery Redd, a sophomore, has a different opinion, “The statues should be taken down, especially because of the political climate today. They do not represent a heritage at all. They represent disgusting people who cared more about making money off of slave labor than the rights of those said slaves. I feel like [the statues] take away from the influential people in our country that worked hard for the somewhat equality we have today. I’m surprised some [statues] are still up.”
Sophomore Danny Lee agrees with the decision to remove some of the confederate statues, “I believe that as a political movement showing our nation’s progress in terms of racism, it’s about time. But, I believe that they [the statues] should not be destroyed because they are still a part of our history and we shouldn’t hide it. These statues can teach future generations not to make the same mistakes from the past.”
Many are protesting the removals, while others are rejoicing in it. Whether one agrees with the decision or not, it can be agreed that this situation is causing quite the controversy.
[Photo by abcnews.go.com]
Photo Caption: “This confederate statue of a soldier was torn down by protesters in North Carolina.”