Jack Simpson


Well now we are down to moving from removal of Confederate statues to removal of the names of Confederate officers from city street signs.

The killing of George Floyd has brought focus on signs bearing the names of Confederate soldiers like Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and others, places that once were named as part of the nation’s history are being removed, either legally or during protests.

People no longer want to honor those who once supported slavery, segregation and white supremacy.

Continuing to glorify slave holders and white supremacists is now believed to be a symbol of white culture. Others say that removing monuments and signs erases part of our history.

There is no telling after new names are chosen how long they will last before some people seek further change. Destruction of existing signs seems to censor our past. Even a well-known figure like Winston Churchill, who helped save his country from racial and fascist tyranny, has had threats of removal of his statue causing a protective covering to be placed around it.

There are reports we have already had a number of monuments and memorials defaced or torn down. In May 2020, after the killing of George Floyd, some monuments were removed under ordinances and some during protests. Among those in Richmond, Va., were Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. The question is: “should these statues be removed or do they have a place in our national history?” Everyone feels the pain of George Floyd’s family, and we want to move on from any racial discrimination. Our cultural heritage includes monuments, historical sites, art, buildings, statues and the like. Destroying these erases some of our history.

If these monuments and signs have become so offensive they should be removed under law and not during riots and protests.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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