BackTalk: Confederate symbolism causes debate

Removing ties to Confederacy creates progress

by ADÁN RUBIO//Staff Writer

The removal of Confederate monuments and changing the names of streets and public institutions named after Confederate leaders has created a lot of controversy throughout the year.

Despite what people may think about the stability of the United States, our nation is still growing as a united front and has advanced through many accomplishments and tragedies. Changing or removing Confederate influences throughout society is important to encourage this kind of progress within the United States.

In this society, there are people who strongly believe in certain Confederate ideals or people who want to keep certain pieces of history in tact. But we should not have to maintain certain ideals of the past. The removal of Confederate names and monuments within many communities will allow people to dismiss a part of history that had a standing impact only a few centuries ago. People can gain a sense of progression from keeping the significance of these Confederate values in the past.

One can argue that these Confederate influences are a major part of history that has led to this growing nation today, but historic events that took place a few centuries ago will always be remembered, despite the lack of Confederate impressions. The history of the Confederacy will never be forgotten, but it should not be something that defines the United States to this day.

The removal of these ties to the Confederacy can also have positive effects on different parts of society. Changing the names of schools that were influenced by Confederate leaders will show people, especially young students, that our nation pushes forward and does not dwell on the past centuries. It is not just adults who are considering the name changes for these schools.

In Dallas, Texas, students held a vote to change the name of John B. Hood Middle School to Piedmont Global Academy. The actions undertaken by these students show how the need for growth and change is necessary for new generations to realize that the future is what is important.

With the removal of Confederate monuments and names, people can now begin to honor those who have made a lasting impact throughout the past decade. It is time to honor the new leaders of this century, without being restricted by past idols.

A popular argument that has surfaced throughout the media toward the removal of Confederate symbols is the idea that past impactful leaders, such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, shared some Confederate ideals and are still being honored through monuments and other glorifications. I will refute that by saying that the Confederacy began in the United States during a time of chaos and separation. Whether some leaders who share certain qualities with the Confederacy are still being honored today has nothing to do with their beliefs but their success in shaping this nation into a place of freedom.

The opportunities that come with replacing Confederate monuments or changing names of certain institutions are endless. People can praise the upcoming leaders of this century and shape a nation that still respects its history while being able to persevere through upcoming major issues.

What ever your perspective is on this issue, the one thing that is certain is that we need to move on from concerns that are insignificant for this era. One way of achieving this is through removing or changing components of society that do not evoke a sense of progressiveness within our nation.


 

Confederate statues essential to history

by NICOLE LOPEZ//Sports Editor

America has come a long way since the Civil War.

Confederate statues and public schools named after confederate leaders are symbols of learning from the past and not making the same mistakes in the future. But many people don’t seem to understand that logic.

The confederate statues are part of America’s long and interesting history. America has been through a lot and has evolved for the better. Why take down statues and change school names? It’s part of our history! The Civil War, like it or not, is part of our history. The outcome of the war was great. The North abolished slavery. That is something we should be proud of.

I know the South was pro-slavery. But we have these statues and confederate leaders standing on America ground because it’s part of our history. Tearing down these statues and creating protests is not going to change the outcome of what happened. The outcome was something that changed America for the better. Slavery doesn’t exist in the United States like it did in the 1850s, which is something we should all celebrate.

Yes, Robert E. Lee was one of the Confederate leaders. He owned slaves, but so did Abraham Lincoln and he was the President of the United States. Should we tear down Lincoln’s statue as well? He owned slaves, but he actually led the abolition of slavery.

If we take away the Confederate memorials, “because historic figures had slaves,” then why not take down every single statue of a historical figure? We would be erasing American history, history that has made America what it is today.

Memorials to the Civil War honor the men who fought and die for a cause. If we choose to do away with any Confederate memorial, we open the door for every war memorial to be reevaluated according to which group it offends.

The people who are offended brings me to another point. These Confederate statues offend people. That’s the problem with America today. Mostly everyone is easily offended by anything. If you’re offended by these historical statues, then you must have too much time on your hands.

They’re historical statues, statues that represent who we used to be, versus what we stand for now. They remind people every day of how far we’ve come as a nation. The Civil War is taught in history books. The war was a bloodbath, it was messy, and it was ugly. But it was worth it. Slavery was abolished. We should be focusing on the bigger picture.

If we tear down these statues because people are offended, then we should burn history books and be done with history all together. We should ban it being taught in schools and not learn from our mistakes in the past. Isn’t that what history is? Isn’t that why we teach history? We teach history for others to learn from the past. We teach it so that way we don’t make the same mistakes as before.

The Confederate statues shouldn’t be taken down. If you’re offended, then I don’t know what to tell you. They’re not harming anyone. They represent a historic event in America, an event which changed America for the best. That is something worth remembering.

Author: Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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