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What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of "Who gets a place in our public art?" If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I'd say, "Get ridda da bum." But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie. In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn't our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options--rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record. This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we're talking about a society's identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond. Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2018 on Politically Incorrect History at Word Wenches
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Dec 18, 2018