I appreciate Francis Strazzella’s opinion piece on how removing the Confederate monuments is a way of denying and wiping out a part of our history [“Confederate Monuments Remind Us of Our History,” June 24, Xpress.] Having many Southern friends, I know how painful this is for them, especially those born and bred right here in Asheville — they have grown up with the monuments that represent their heritage.
However, many of the Confederate monuments are of slave owners and individuals who believed slavery was right and did not think Blacks should be given equality with whites. The African Americans I know have shared that when they walk by a Confederate monument, it is traumatic and represents the horror and evil of the slavery perpetrated upon their race.
Strazzella cites how Germany has kept their Nazi death camps as a reminder of the horrors of evil. I would suggest the death camps are also a way of honoring and remembering the ones who were brutalized and died as a result of that evil. Plus it’s worth noting that Germany, as far as I know, does not have monuments of Hitler, Goring, Bormann or other prominent Nazis of the time. Perhaps our Confederate monuments need to be replaced with monuments representing the horror and evil of slavery while also honoring the Black families.
We’re living in excruciatingly challenging times. All the pain of our nation is coming up in full force for us to address. My prayer is we find a way to connect so we can work through this together. The polarization of our culture has never been more blatant in every sphere — even down to the topic of “mask vs. no mask.” My hope is we’ll rise to the occasion and work together for solutions that serve all of humanity fairly and we learn to live and thrive among our differences.
— Blair Fielding