Black Lives Matter
I’m at a loss to understand how this is a question or threatening or political-
Black Lives Matter. Period.
When the history of Black people is predicated on being enslaved, abuse, rape, terror, bondage- and the very relics that remind us of those horrors are still revered- it is imperative to state, Black lives matter.
I watched a documentary where two Black men toured the South, visiting different monuments to the Confederacy and then speaking to the people who support them.
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, a Councilwoman endorsed keeping the remnants of an auction block right where it was erected; a location where Black people were sold, families separated, individuals enslaved until they died, “Because those who walk by it every day in the town square will remember the horrors it produced.”
The Councilwoman even equated this to the death camps in Europe like Dachau. She didn’t understand the difference is that those atrocities are not in the center of the city. The camps themselves were never centralized and all relics, wherever they existed, were memorialized to the lost souls forever in museums, with proper context, so no one can ever refute they existed. They don’t sit openly in a town square where kids play on it and tourists dare ask to take a picture, pretending to be on the block. They are not kept in central areas where those destroyed by the atrocities have to walk by everyday.
They are not kept in full view making it clear this is what we thought of you.
They are not meant to be a reminder of what happened to their ancestors.
They are not kept where people cavalierly or with a complete lack of awareness walk by daily.
There are countless monuments to the Confederacy and all it represented.
Daughters of the Confederacy have erected them as late as the 2000’s, claiming they have the right to glorify people who fought against the ideals of this Country and tried to end it.
No decent human being would ever support, justify or claim that Hitler should be revered. Germany has taken exhaustive measures not to eradicate his memory, but to put that time in its proper place. Where the stark truths can be seen and history never repeated. No sane person would defend him. We all admit he was abhorrent and despicable, yet we have people today who can justify similar behaviors in men and women who equally destroyed human life.
Claiming you can still admire someone and just ignore what they did for the few years of the Civil War ignores how they defended the right to buy and sell people. They felt entitled to abuse and use human beings as they liked, without remorse or consequences. They turned against their own country and killed their own brothers in order to enslave others. Public displays only serve one purpose- to glorify those beliefs.
They are not innocuous. They make a very loud and specific statement.
It is a history we cannot ignore or deny. Nor should we.
It is not in the past. Caroline Randall Williams says it so powerfully in her essay – My body is a Confederate Monument .
The inequities, violence, and attitudes are all around us to this day.
That’s what needs to change. We must acknowledge how they have become entrenched and ingrained into the very fabric of our country. We need to stand up and take the actions required to right these terrible wrongs.
Time for words and platitudes are over.
People are dying.
Black lives matter.