Where does a purge end?

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

The moving or destroying of historical monuments is a very dangerous slippery slope as far as preserving the country’s history is concerned. If we move or destroy every monument that is hurtful to some community, we will have no monuments left. A few examples are Jamestown, Williamsburg, Algonquin War, French and Indian War, Plains wars and many others that we have monuments to and to the people who fought them. I am positive that many of these are hurtful to the Native Americans from whom we took all their land and worse. We systematically and purposefully attempted to exterminate them from the earth.

The Mexican War, which Mexican citizens see was nothing more than a land grab from Mexico. The Spanish-American War is seen by Spanish Americans as just a land grab from Spain. I am sure we can find German Americans whose ancestors were killed by Americans in World War I and persons whose civilian ancestors were killed by the hundreds of thousands by indiscriminate bombing of cities such as Dresden.

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If we add taking down the monuments to every slave owner, we would have to take down almost every monument to our founding fathers as well.

My point is not that I am un-American. It is that history is history, good and bad. Sometimes America had to do what it had to do to expand or survive. These monuments are mostly to soldiers who did what they were told to do and did not question the orders from the government they lived under. Many are to soldiers buried and never found, basically their tombstones. The point can easily be seen that if we take down a monument because is is offensive to one group, then it’s only fair that we take down them all. Slavery was a travesty, but noting worse than what was done to the Native American and some others.

The saddest thing is that the attempt to move Confederate monuments is causing much more racial animosity than people realize, and is giving the cowardly murderer from Charleston exactly what he wanted when he committed the murders. Do we really want to reward him for what he did and tell him he was a success?

Volpe Boykin