By keeping these statues we are promoting to our future generations that racism is ok. That being racist is not important. It represents that if you achieve something amazing like for example travelling to America and discovering that the world is round could still be praised even if you were a horrible racist, A psycho maniac killer and a slave owner. We can't progress as a nation if we keep worshiping the past. Just because we take the statues down doesn't mean they are not part of the past either. What we want to achieve is getting rid of racism and removing these statues from racist historical figures who promote these ideas will only stop us.
So look, Although these historical figures are very important in the making out our country, Their actions are controversial. George Washington owned a lot of slaves on his many plantations. Thomas Jefferson enslaved over 600 human beings, Even though he wrote 'all men were created equal' in the constitution. We will always learn about these figures every year in all of our History classes. Their pictures will always hang in almost every room of the White House. Just because some statues of them are missing doesn't mean that their legacies are gone forever.
If a group wishes to remove a statue there are legal means to do so. For a group to take action on their own without legal authority makes that group a "mob". To take legal steps, The owner of the statue should be petitioned. Then a safe means of removal could be used. Conversely, Other actions could be taken- but taken legally.
The history of many places are very mixed, With people being complex at their core. People do both good and bad things. This is why people are people. The actions of someone merit their recognition. This recognition could be good or bad. Statues are raised to people in recognition. The history of the person is not put in a positive light by there being a statue. The statue is simply a recognition of a person's major role in history. Confederate statues are not meant to intimidate, They are simply recognizing the history, Good and bad, Of the formerly rebel states. This goes for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. These people owned slaves but also founded the system to free the slaves that they owned. Just because somebody does something bad, Doesn't merit the revising of history.
Firstly we need to understand the History behind the Statues. Many of these Statues were instated because many of the figures whose statues were made represented the Pride of the State they belonged to. That doesn't mean that southern states support slavery. Rather they support people who fought for a key principle of American Law, Power to the states and localized power. While the Civil War was fought for economic purposes and state rights, It eventually evolved into a fight of whether slavery, One of the most degrading and morally heinous concepts by mankind should be continued. Since the War was started for a different purpose, It would be wrong to say that the Statues and the people represent slavery. Another Arguement posed is that why are the Statues of the supposed losers of the war are instated. However again the War wasn't lost for the Confederates. Under General Robert E Lee's command, Most of the battles were won by Confederates despite them having smaller armies and fewer equipment. Eventually a peace contract was achieved to prevent further loss of American Lives. As a part of the Contract, The Confederates soldiers agreed to maintain first loyalty to America and follow it's laws. Moving on to as to why many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. However it's also important to note that 1. Slavery was not just practiced in America 2. Many of the African Slaves were sold to Western Traders by other African Chieftains. Now coming back to History. At the point of time, Slavery was considered a sign of wealth and a Social Norm. While it may be suggested that people who believed in Liberty and Equality such as the Founding Fathers would have tried to pass legislation against it, Sadly it wouldn't be accepted by the Society at the time. While George Washington later in life felt that Slavery was a poor concept, He also knew that undoing it wouldn't be successful. As such we must not forget the important contributions The Founding Fathers had towards the Establishment of America. Another thing to note is that with time changes the norm. If a practice of today is considered morally reprehensible a Hundred years from now, It doesn't mean that those who lived in this period of time are neccesarily bad. Rather it's societies ideas and law that have changed.
Now onto the concept of time. These statues were mostly instated by a Government. If they must be bought down with time, It must be done by people urging the government or forming a Government with their votes who will pull down such statues. To riot and deface such statues damages society and infrastructure, Makes people less supportive of the idea and allows such future actions to be considered normal.
We do not celebrate these people for being slave owners, Racists, Etc. , But rather the good they did. The fact that they were slave owners is an ancillary factor which has nothing to do with why we celebrate them. This is much like how George Floyd’s criminal past (including some violent crimes, Like holding a pregnant woman at gunpoint) has nothing to do with why people sanctify him.
As for the people who say ‘Well we tried to go through legal channels but it didn’t work! ”, That’s probably a sign that the efforts to bring down these statues should stop there. People can’t be allowed to have their way just because they throw a tantrum.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, And many other historical figures lived two centuries before the civil rights movement occurred. In their time, Black people were considered animals and slaves. While cruel, These historical figures were just people of their time. Some of our actions today that seem reasonable may be considered cruel in the future. However, That does not make us any less moral or good because the idea had already been so deeply rooted into our minds that we acted without thinking. We should celebrate the feats of our historical figures and respect the fact that they were also a part of a society where racism was extremely commonplace.