My wife’s eyes were damp when she came home from our daughter’s dance class yesterday. She quickly told me why.
“I was sitting there, and other moms were in a group talking about the Nazi rally and the Confederate statues. One woman said something about how she didn’t understand why people wanted to remove the statues. ‘It’s just history; why do people want to erase history?’ It was loud enough for everyone to hear. I didn’t say anything, because I can’t. I’ll look like the proverbial ‘angry black person’; they won’t listen to me, so I keep looking at my phone. They went on like this for a while.
“Then another woman — a white woman — said quietly to the other mom: ‘But a lot of these statues are making heroes of people who fought for the right to own slaves. We can have history without making heroes of the bad guys. We can learn history in school and from books and museums. Imagine someone descended from slaves having to walk past those statues and see the glorification.’
“Those aren’t exact words, but it was like that. I just started crying. Later, after the discussion was over and that group had split up, I pulled that second woman aside and thanked her; I told her how much it meant to me for her to say it. She said ‘I’ll stand up for what’s right, and I’ll confront people when they’re wrong.’ It was the best thing that could have happened to me this week.”
Something to think about next time you’re in a group and someone goes unopposed with the confederate-sympathizing narrative of “removing statues is erasing history”.