For the Love of Statues

I had a post ready for this week but with everything that has happened, I don’t think you want to hear about me using yogurt masks or letting Jillian Michaels kick my ass everyday.  You can downplay what happened this past weekend.  In fact, you can completely ignore it.  Just know that in doing so, you’ve essentially been told you have cancer and are choosing to do nothing about it.  I rarely use this platform to discuss such hot topics but I feel it would be ingenuine to write about anything else.

I’ve absorbed a lot of information this week.  Who knew Trump had a winery in Virginia?  (Smashes face into plate)  I wake up each morning and read the statements, discussions and arguments on social media.  I watch clips from news sources across the board and I must say my heart is heavy.  I know hatred will always exist and I know there are two sides to every story.  I also know that this battle was hashed out long ago and it was decided that there is no place for the confederate way of life in this country.

Do me a favor and put away your political affiliations for a moment because here’s the deal, I don’t care.  There has been so much finger pointing and alt-right this and first amendment that.  Just pump the breaks for a minute and let me break this down for you because we are all human and should be able to relate to one another on that level.  It all begins with a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate General who surrendered to the United States of America in 1865.  Reread that sentence.  Bad guy.  If this were a movie, he would be played by Alan Rickman.  Ok?  Ok.  So a bunch of white men (and a few women) got a permit to exercise their freedom of speech and take the streets with tiki torches to voice their outrage at the idea of a statue that represents civil strife and divide being taken down.  Don’t forget the permit part, it’s very important.  Nothing like grown men getting all worked up and using Polynesian affiliated objects to express how American and entitled they are.

Now, beyond the fact that the statue they are marching for depicts a United States traitor, here is where what was left of their cause went flushing down a public park toilet for me.  None of their chanting had anything to do with a statue.  None of it.  It did, however, have a lot to do with the Nazis and how amazing it is to be white.  I would love to give each and every one of them a genealogy test because I didn’t see one Native American.  Some people have claimed that they aren’t white supremacists and that their character is being tarnished and here’s what I have to say to them.  Next time you go to a rally and see that swastika flags are present, DON’T MARCH WITH THEM.  It really is that simple.  If you don’t want to be viewed as a racist, stop chanting racist things.  And this is just a suggestion but if a hate group says what they are doing is in your name, address it.  You are the company you keep, remember that.

Also, you showed up to defend a statue of Robert E Lee, who is viewed as a confederate hero.  Unless you believe that history will literally evaporate without that statue (you don’t) what exactly did you think you were getting yourself into?  If you are afraid of the past being erased, let me assure you that statues are not what keep history alive.  I know this because a plaque bears the name of my father in a cemetery in Cincinnati.  I promise you if that plaque went missing, I would still think of him everyday.  There are a lot of statues in this country I haven’t seen and somehow I feel as if I have a very good grasp of American history.

I am all about the freedom of speech but this is a war and a mindset that was fought and conquered years ago.  The Confederates lost because their beliefs no longer fell under the ideology of the United States of America.  So maybe don’t come stomping down any street yelling about ancient, unamerican and historically defeated hatred.  Not in my country.  Or at least don’t do it and expect the rest of us to silently watch you mock the progress of this country.  You don’t get to hide behind the Constitution with the intent to dismantle the very thing it’s made up of.

I don’t understand Confederate pride and I never will.  It seems to be the mentality of someone in denial who refuses to truly accept the country they live in.  It’s like a 150 year old bumper sticker.  Talk about alternative facts.  Let.it.go.  After WWII, Germany banned swastikas and other Nazi emblems.  You can even be arrested for making a Hitler salute.  Note there is no statue of Adolf and somehow people remember.  I believe the confederate flag, likewise, is treasonous.  It represents a people who took arms against their government and killed American soldiers.  It is a direct insult to black Americans and a jabbing reminder of a brutally oppressive past.  Southern pride is not what that flag represents.  That flag represents civil war, falsely believed superiority, death and hatred.  The fact that it is still legal in this country baffles me, but not as much as the people who proudly parade around with it.

We have to move forward, we have to be better.  We cannot meet hatred with hatred.  We have to unite and take a stand against the greater enemy among us.  Take a cue from Game of Thrones.  Put aside your petty differences and open your eyes to the real threat.  Take your ‘I told you sos’ and pack up the blame game.  It is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing.  What happened this past weekend, unfortunately, IS America and we must deal with it.  There aren’t many sides, there are two sides and only one is right because it is that of a true patriot. Love always prevails and there was certainly a lack of that in Charlottesville, VA.  As Nelson Mandela said, “if you can learn to hate, you can be taught to love.”  Spread the love.  ❤️

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