Should We Take Down Rebel Statues? | Teen Ink

Should We Take Down Rebel Statues? MAG

September 14, 2017
By looking_up BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
looking_up BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Statues are meant to commemorate great leaders or people who have had a significant impact on history. However, recently, tensions in the U.S. combusted over the issue of whether Civil War statues commemorating Confederate generals should remain standing. Some people feel strongly that these generals led their troops in historic victories, and their statues should remain to remind us of those events, no matter how controversial they may seem to us now. These supporters believe that these statues acknowledge and show respect to the courage and sacrifices of all men and women in the armed services.

On the other side of the debate are those who take offense to Confederate statues commemorating infamous slave owners who fought against the abolishment of slavery. In the words of Nick Cannon, an American rapper and actor, “Your definition of beauty is our definition of pain.” For some – especially African American citizens – the statues represent white supremacy and fail to acknowledge the horrors black people endured at the hands of these men.

I believe that we should keep the statues up. Without a doubt, slavery is a part of this country’s history that we should not celebrate, but I believe that the statues should remain standing because they represent honor and commemorate all of the soldiers who have made sacrifices for this country. It’s common for those who support Civil War monuments in the South to be accused of being white supremacists. However, imagine if you grew up hearing stories of how your great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. You would have a reason for wanting the monuments to remain, even if you don’t share any of the beliefs of white supremacists. Each of us likely has some relative who has served in the armed forces. It is important that we remember and honor those who have made sacrifices for our country, even if they weren’t from the north side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Tensions over this issue boiled over this summer in Charlottesville, Virginia. On August 12, a protest against the removal of Confederate monuments turned violent and deadly when white nationalists attacked counter-protesters. A few weeks later, as reported by, “Workers in Charlottesville draped giant black covers over two statues of Confederate generals … to symbolize the city’s mourning for a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally … Some of the crowd cheered as the cover was put in place.”

After the events in Charlottesville, many people are asking: How can we keep everyone happy? I believe the answer is to meet in the middle. In my opinion, we should keep most of the statues up while putting the most offensive in museums so they can still be viewed, but in a historical context. Keeping most of these statues in public is good for our country, whether you agree with the historical figure’s beliefs or not. 

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This article has 2 comments.

on Apr. 15 2018 at 11:04 am
gabymatias00 SILVER, Moca, Other
5 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Unfortunate for those who've never touched a book and been delighted with new worlds, but sadder for those who have and have failed to see beyond the story

I completely agree with you. Its an interesting debate but US history is not based fully on the part that seems fitting to us The truth is that every American is standing on the United States because both the Union and the Confederacy existed and we must not only celebrate heroes of one side because both heroes form part of the United States. Also, slavery was not the only cause of the war and it was not even the main conflict at the start. Many people fought for the Confederacy out of loyalty for their state and they did not even support slavery so why should we not commemorate these loyal brave heroes?

Locke9 BRONZE said...
on Sep. 17 2017 at 11:20 am
Locke9 BRONZE, Scottsdale, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
I agree with your opinion these statues are a part of history and whether people like it or not we cannot lose touch with our past.

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