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The irony in the ‘erasing history’ argument

I live in the capital of the Confederacy – Richmond, VA. The truth is that my circle of friends is quite homogeneous. My personal social media connections are quite similar. My “internet circle” is comprised of very few folks with views that differ from my own. Occasionally, I will stumble upon a shared meme or article that either causes me to smile in disbelief or pause for reflection.
Given the most recent events in Charlottesville, VA and the emotionally fueled debates regarding the existence and potential removal of the confederate soldier monuments I have to ask myself ‘Where do you stand?’

I am a firm believer of making up my own mind and not allowing the opinions (informed and uninformed) of others dictate my own beliefs and actions. I am no history buff, nor do I claim to be. I would not call myself “well read”, but I strive to be. I am a human being of the melanated variety. Based on my own Internet diving and splashing (I dare not call it research), I still feel a bit premature in taking a solid stance. What I can comment on with confidence is the argument of ‘erasing history’ as a means to preserve the monuments.

This ‘erasing history’ argument is one hundred percent hypocritical! Why? Well, as I mentioned before I am a human being of the melanated variety. Ask me how much of my history is readily accessible. Ask me why I was taught that my mere presence in this country began with slavery. Ask me why there are very few monuments erected to reflect the contributions made by people who look like me. Ask me why my options for ancestral pride come from reading, researching, museum visits and the like. My answer to you is that my history…no the documentation of my history was erased.

My history was erased so that the majority could create and maintain a superior position in the world. My history was erased so that the majority could be made comfortable. My history was erased leaving me to accept the lies told to me through generations about who I am and would ever become. My history was erased so that my worth would always be that much less than my white counterpart. My history was erased. My history was erased so much so that I enter the homes of loved one’s with an image of Jesus the Christ as a white man even though the Bible clearly tells me his skin was of bronze and hair of wool. Not only was my history erased, but in some circumstances it was rewritten.

I am a human being of the melanated variety and I must work hard to find the truth as it relates to my history. A statuesque figure does not equate to truth. Even with General Robert E. Lee erected there are a variety of opinions on what this man truly stood for. A statue is not the truth.

So, to those of you with the ‘you’re erasing my (or our) history’ argument. Please stop. The statue evokes emotions within you that derive from your personal truth, which may be a combination of true research (doubt that) and/or hearsay from informed and uninformed family and friends. Let’s all do ourselves a favor and read a book or two. Those memes you’re sharing may or may not be completely true. The articles you are posting may not be completely true and you share them because they support your bias. Read a book and have some compassion for those whose history was truly erased.

The truth shall set you free.

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