Editor, the Advocate:
If we follow the reasoning of those who want to keep the statue of the Confederate soldier in DeLeon Plaza, then Germany should keep statues of Nazis in places of honor as well. Both times in history (American slavery and Nazi Germany) were extremely sad and cruel episodes of inhumanity. Both times were culturally agreed-upon episodes of evil that were admired and even deemed necessary. Does that mean we cannot choose different values to honor than previous generations? The values of the people that erected our statue, 47 years after the end of the Civil War, were those of white supremacy. Keeping this statue in our main plaza says we honor those values still. The inscription reads “On civilization’s height/ immutable they stand.” Doesn’t this mean we agree forever with their cause?
What would you think if you visited Hamburg and a statue of Goebel greeted people at town hall? Would a Jewish person feel welcome there? Don’t we want all citizens and visitors to feel welcome in our main plaza?
Yes, it’s scary and sometimes painful when things we have known all our lives start to change. But I believe that truth ultimately prevails. If we are Christian, we must ask ourselves what Christ’s answer to the previous question would be: Do we want all people to feel welcome in our main plaza?
As to destroying history, the statue only needs to be moved. It’s artistic and historical value can be honored in a different location. There are nonprofit funds available to assist with those costs. Please let our council members know that we support moving the statue away from DeLeon Plaza and to an appropriate historical site.
Virginia S. Gilstrap, Victoria