White supremacists/nationalists (aka racist assholes) marching in Virginia. Unfuckingbelievable. This is the culture that Donald Trump inspires. This is the society his ilk, generally speaking, desires and/or tolerates. This is not what America is about. This is not what the vast majority of people in our country are like.
Free speech is one thing. Hateful, bigoted speech is another.
The leaders of a people who seceded from our country because they wanted to enslave an entire race of people should not be memorialized in shrines and statues. While they are most certainly of historical significance/interest, they represent an era in our society that never should have happened.
Claiming that these statues/shrines/memorials represent the heritage of today's Americans is disingenuous. They may be of interest to those whose ancestors they are, and that’s fine, but to insist that your ancestors’ bad decisions (i.e. slavery) be on display for everyone to see is presumptuous and offensive. I have German ancestors, some of whom may have been Nazis; I can’t imagine why I’d want a shrine in my public square memorializing them and their horrific deeds. Would it be interesting to me? Absolutely. Would I want to preserve it in my family history? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t for a second pretend to believe that anyone else besides genealogists, historians, and family would give a shit about it.
Seriously – If you enjoy the history of our country, are sincerely interested in your heritage and ancestors, and want to make sure this history of our country is preserved, and not whitewashed, get involved in a historical society, a museum, your local libraries.
I find our country’s history extremely interesting – The good and the bad, but I don’t glorify the enslavement of human beings and that it’s something everyone should see.
So snap the fuck out of it, and do something good for your country, your state, your city, your community, your neighborhood. Don’t be an uninvolved leech that thrives on conflict.