Voice of the people: On paying to move the statue




"If the statue is going to be moved, I think the ones wanting it moved should be the ones to pay for it." So wrote Elaine Miller.


Set up a fund. I'm ready to donate.


Bill Hairston



Sulligent, Alabama




Ms. Elaine Miller wrote in her July 7 letter to the Dispatch that those who want the Confederate monuments removed should pay for it. Ms. Miller's opinion may be an uncommon one, but I would not be surprised to learn that there are many others who've had similar thoughts. Perhaps they should consider the following.


Monuments and symbols were common in public spaces in Nazi Germany as well. The majority of the public were outwardly, at least, receptive to this practice. Those symbols are obviously gone now despite being an extraordinary example of national history. Would it have been acceptable to have the Jews pay for their removal? If there was ever an untenable position, I should think that would be it.


What about here at home? The United States government and the great majority of Americans saw nothing wrong with continually ousting a variety of Native American groups from their homelands and taking those lands and their resources. Native Americans have since received some remuneration in the form of reservations, however small -- should they be expected to pay for getting those lands back? I don't know anyone who would argue that. I doubt Ms. Miller would, either.


The monument at the courthouse was installed in 1912 by the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy to celebrate the heroic efforts of those men who, as we now see it, mistakenly fought against the republic whose birth we just celebrated last Saturday. Just like the previous two examples, the local Daughters of the Confederacy saw nothing wrong with doing so; it was a common practice across the south. Again, why should the injured party now pay?


To Ms. Miller and those who agree with her position -- what makes the Confederacy fundamentally different from the Nazis and the US's past regrettable treatment of Native Americans, neither of which are currently celebrated? I can't figure that one out.


Paul Mack






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