New perspective on IW statue
Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
I’m so torn about the fate of the Isle of Wight Confederate statue. Should it stay or should it be removed?
First, let me walk a mile in my shoes. Being an older white person, with a public school system education, my perspective was quite skewed. I was taught the war between the states was more a matter of the righteous “South” against the terrible “North.” The slave experience was only slightly mentioned. It was represented more like in “Gone With The Wind”: The kindly landowners offered all the slaves’ needs in exchange for work.
Not until lately, now in my 60s, have I learned about the true slave experience. That slavery meant total ownership of every aspect of your life. One could be beat, sold or killed at the whim of whites.
So what does all this have to do with the statue? It means one needs to “walk a mile” in their “shoes” to understand a different perspective.
Now when I walk past the statue, I don’t just see a piece of Southern rebel art but a representation of an injustice. An injustice that should not remind every black person of past perceived white supremacy when entering our courts.