Should Confederate flags be removed from public space?

Juan Casas, Courier Staff

Since the Charlottesville incident where a woman was brutally murdered by getting run over by a far-right fanatic, the increasing debate on what to do to confederate and pre-civil war era idols and statues has only become more sensitive. Yet, I am convinced that the answer is simple.

First, we should recognize that there are two sides to the debate, one that claims the statues signify hate, slavery, rape and a million other horrors attributed to the confederacy. The other side claims the right to honor its history, that the statues represent a time in American history that cannot and should not be forgotten, that the statues represent true rare American history and that a valuable lesson can be learned from them of the wrong-doing that our country has done and how we have come far for civil rights, and also a constant reminder that we have further to go.

So, the question arises of what to do. My answer is that the issue should be left to the electorate system, in wherever the voter, through a referendum or an initiative, in their local municipalities can decide for themselves what to do to the statues. That way in rural America, where the population is majority Caucasian and should allow confederate statues in their communities to remain uninterrupted. While also ensuring that the true horrors of slavery is vigorously taught in the local municipalities public education system. Also, we should never forget that the confederacy has strong family ties to many southern generational families whose ancestors fought and died for their beliefs. This should be honored whether we agree with their opinions or not, for that is what democracy is all about, for as long as there is respect, mutual trust and the benefit of the doubt, we should aim for civility and be prude to not fall to our primal nature of bickering and wrong-doing.

If, on the other hand, the statues are in a majority non-Caucasian community, then the local electorate system can vote to have them respectfully relocated to a history museum. Also, this can help get young people and other disenfranchised groups more involved in their electorate system, so that they can see for themselves that they are free and that they do have an impact in their communities, but more so to show them that we are a country of laws and tolerance. This is good because we can ensure that everyone feels appreciated, that everyone feels heard, that everyone feels respected, and most importantly that the issue is resolved in a peaceful and respectful manner. This way, in rural and urban America, the history of this great country is protected, respected and overall accurately taught, so that we may not forget our past, and in doing so we can better assure that we will not repeat the errors of our past in our future.