Letter: Movement to remove monuments is misguided

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m glad you published the … op-ed piece by Milton Ready [“Take Heed, Asheville: The Dangers of Unwanted Change,” Sept. 13, Xpress]. Why? Not because I agree with it — I don’t — but because it has further enlightened me about something I have long surmised: that all of the misplaced anger we’re seeing in college-aged “kids” and millennials (especially over the election of President Trump) was taught to them by highly biased professors like Mr. Ready.

How does a college student have a chance at understanding issues from a neutral standpoint — much less learning history — when they’re being inculcated by teachers like Ready, who espouse “radicalism” and despise America’s founders, among others. He doesn’t even try to disguise his contempt for white people (and he’s one, which makes his entire diatribe one based on self-hatred) and doesn’t hesitate to label people “misogynists” and “racists” if they don’t cow to the politically correct views he espouses.

It’s because of teachers like Ready that there is so much anger and violence today, including that against statues and monuments to some great Americans who they have put in a proverbial box as “racist” when there’s so much more to them and what they did for our country.

Another article in this same edition of your paper — about Pack Square and George Pack’s friendship with Zebulon Vance [“A Mystery In-deed: Who Owns Pack Square”] — is a perfect example of this: People and relationships are complicated, and it’s never fair to judge them based on only one aspect of their life, completely out of context with the rest of their being, not to mention the time during which they lived. If George Pack, a staunch abolitionist, was good friends with Vance, who current so-called progressives have labeled a “racist,” that tells you a lot.

This is why the entire movement to erase parts of our history and remove monuments and statues is misguided. I don’t have to take a survey to know that no one wants their entire life to be boiled down to one belief or action over a lifetime. We all want to be seen as a whole person, with good and bad aspects to our personalities since — let’s face it — none of us is perfect.

On a personal note, I grew up in the ’60s and rebelled against the norms of the times. How? By studying very hard in school. By making it into, and graduating from, law school. By making a career for myself when most young women were getting married and having babies. By forgoing motherhood, much to my family’s chagrin and the oft-expressed disapproval of others. By doing that, I made myself financially independent. That’s what feminism is about. Having opportunities and working hard to use them to achieve your goals. What it’s not about: calling people names like “misogynist.” “racist” or “deplorable.”

Respectfully submitted,

— Aimee Fried


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Movement to remove monuments is misguided

  1. bsummers

    It’s because of teachers like Ready that there is so much anger and violence today,

    This is so distorted and unfair, it’s almost not worth responding to. I’ll simply point to the fact that a few months ago we were all shocked & surprised to see Nazi flags flying proudly on American soil, and Nazi chants echoing in the air. There are angry, violent, white supremacists marching in the streets of America today. Pointing that out, educating young people about the dark history underlying these events, and the need to respond as real Americans should to that kind of threat to our way of life – these are the actions of a patriot, IMO.

    …statues and monuments to some great Americans

    Like Robert E. Lee? He is almost by definition the opposite of a “great American”. He tried to break the United States of America in two. And all over the right to own & enslave other human beings. He’s not “great” in my book, and it’s been thirty years since I’ve been in a college classroom. How did I come by those “radical” views?

    This is why the entire movement to erase parts of our history…

    No one is “erasing” anything. People are simply realizing that we don’t need to worship and mythologize this particular part of our history anymore. It will always be an important part – we’ve just decided that we don’t have to honor it in the public square anymore. That’s not “erasing” history – that’s erasing the supremacy of your interpretation of that history. Sorry, I bet that hurts – but you’ll get over it.

    Respectfully submitted

    I think we have slightly different definitions of that word “respectfully”…

    I will say that I appreciate the letter-writer’s acknowledgment that hearing differing views is a positive thing. Let’s all continue to disagree “respectfully”, rather than try to silence views we don’t agree with.

  2. bsummers

    Luckily, some on the political right of this country have realized it’s well past time to throw racists under the bus:

    GOP Senator Opens A Can Of Whoop Ass On Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer

    And before you protest that it’s unfair to lump fans of the Confederacy in with Nazis, maybe you should have all disavowed them yourselves a little bit sooner.


    There’s anger and violence in America because of teachers? Give us a break. Look again at the young woman in that photo. If anything, there’s anger and violence in America because of a lack of good teachers.

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