Symbols Matter

There is much discussion across the nation about whether Confederate statues and symbolism belong in America. Those opposed to the Confederate iconography argue that they represent slavery in America and thus have no place in American society. They argue that the Confederate symbols glorify slavery. Supporters of the Confederate symbols, on the other hand, argue that the Confederacy is an important part of the history of the nation.

It cannot be debated that slavery and the Confederacy are an important part of the history of the country. The Civil War was fought because part of the country rebelled to keep slaves. The Civil War ended slavery – at least legally – and made clear that states do not have the unilateral right to leave the union.

As such, the Confederacy is an important part of the history of the nation.

But do Confederate statues belong in public places?

Symbols matter.

There are several museums and statues across the nation remembering the Holocaust. They are there to remind Americans of the horror of the Nazi regime. But what is not found in public places are statues of Nazis or paraphernalia commemorating the Nazi regime.

The Nazi symbols are correctly displayed in museums. Museums are teaching places to remind visitors about history. Public statues are meant to commemorate heroes of the country. The Confederacy was a rebellion. Its members were traitors because they rebelled.

Commemorating people of the Confederacy is not only inappropriate, but it ignores the fact that the Confederacy represents a history of the United States that most want to forget. To argue that Confederate statues belong in public is like arguing that Hitler deserves a public statue because of the impact he had in the history of the country.

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