Just Another Name

editorial-logo3Sometimes I get caught up in all of the political posturing that goes on locally and lose sight of the big picture. No matter how messed up we are in East Tennessee, we can’t hold a candle to the ridiculous antics that take place in other parts of the nation and world. This week was a great example. Here in the great United States, we are pulling down historic statues because they now offend the sensibilities of some, while in Spain pedestrians are getting mowed down on the sidewalks by those whose sensibilities are offended by their presence.

I cannot believe that in this day and time we are even considering pulling down statues because we don’t agree with the lifestyle of the subjects of those statues. Like it or not, the Civil War happened. But, it didn’t happen yesterday. No person living today fought in the Civil War; no person living today in the United States of America owned a slave or was owned as a slave. It is a reality of our history, and no matter how distasteful some parts of that history may be, we own it. Are all of those historical figures that are represented by various statues people who I would like to sit down to dinner with or invite to stay in my home? Were they alive today, or were I alive in their day and time, would I have called them a friend? Probably not. But, then again, I – we – live in a different time and cannot really conceive of what it was like to live in an earlier, less tolerant, less civilized place. I say that tongue-in-cheek because, after all, statues are falling in the streets and riots are taking the place of civil conversation. We need to press pause because history is history. It may be ugly, but if we cannot face where we have been, how do we keep future generations from traveling those roads again? Perhaps we should go back to burning books? Again. Statues are art, and art is meant to expand the mind and create conversation, much like books should expand the mind and be the launch for the exchange of ideas and information. Statues don’t own slaves, people owned slaves. This isn’t an issue, or at least it should not be.

But what should be an issue is a group of terrorists that believe that they have the right to mow people down because they do not share like values. Once violence sets in, it is only a hop, skip, and jump from tearing down statues and killing people in riots to believing that they have the right and responsibility to eradicate anything and anyone that steps outside their moral compass. It doesn’t take a title like “ISIS” or “White Supremacist” or “Bloods” or “Crypts” to identify a terrorist. They come in many forms, and sometimes they start with baby steps, like pulling down statues – destroying public property because you disagree with its symbols, or killing people because they don’t share your point of view.

We are on a slippery slope.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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