So now that the rebel flag is being lowered at state capitols, what do y’all think about the rest of the Confederate tchotchkes littering the landscape down South, such as CSA war memorials in town squares, etc.? Should they be pulled down like Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad or allowed to stand?
Our local rag had a story today concerning that — House Rep Kathy Castor (D-Of Course) proposed replacing one of Florida’s two designated statues at the US Capitol. Currently, one statue depicts Dr. John Gorrie, a physician who pioneered air-conditioning — blessed be his name! Castor agrees that we should keep Dr. Gorrie, and who in this 100% humidity hellhole could possibly disagree with that?
The other statue depicts Confederate General Kirby Smith, who really didn’t have much of a connection to Florida at all other than being born in St. Augustine. Castor says we should replace him:
“I call on all Floridians to consider great leaders, scientists, teachers, artists and more who reflect the essence of our great state and join the effort to select a statue for the U.S. Capitol,” Castor said in a prepared statement. “The time is now as a wave is sweeping the country to revisit symbols and representations that better reflect the accuracy of our nation’s history and a more inclusive legacy. I urge the Florida Legislature and Governor to give this every consideration, focus on Florida’s historical leaders who have been a positive influence and turn the page on a terrible chapter in America’s history.”
Well, you can just imagine the comments section!
I’d be in favor of finding out who invented mosquito repellent and honoring that person, whether he or she ever set foot in Florida or not. That noble soul, along with Dr. Gorrie, made this swamp inhabitable.
But anyway, what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues? I’m leaning towards the opinion that they should be left in place with historical markers added to put the war in its proper context, i.e., state outright that it was about preserving slavery.
Maybe the deployment of these new historical markers could be accompanied by the addition of new memorials, museums, etc., to acknowledge the injustice of slavery and the sustained campaign of domestic terrorism that followed the Civil War, honor slain Civil Rights activists, etc.
I’m really not sure. What say you?