More discussion needed before symbols
of Confederacy are deleted, removed?
“Communities throughout the United States are in the midst of a widespread reconsideration of symbols of the Confederacy and white supremacy,” Modupe Labode acknowledges.
The associate professor of History and Museum Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis notes that arguments over these symbols and calls for monument removals are nothing new. Protests over the display of Confederate monuments and emblems go back decades, he says.
Because the discussions of Confederate monuments are local and engage with interpretations of the past, institutions concerned with local and state history could and, perhaps, should be involved in their communities as they contend with these issues, he continued.
“Yet many history organizations appear to be uncertain about what they should do or say about these monuments or have opted to maintain official silence, fearing that any statement could alienate local politicians, donors, friends and neighbors. Silence, however, often speaks volumes.”
More discussion is needed.
Memorials honoring Confederate soldiers and generals began appearing in the South during the latter part of the 19th century as organizations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsored monuments in towns and cities throughout the region.
The preferred site for memorials and monuments has shifted from cemeteries to civic spaces such as parks and courthouse squares. These symbols honor individuals and/or common soldiers and assert the values for which the Confederacy fought.