Re: “‘Get this trash off our lawn!’” by David Kennedy (http://bit.ly/2xChBmY) & “Grayson’s statue honors Confederate dead” by Donna Hunt (http://bit.ly/2vz4bXp), 8/20
I cast my lot with Mr. Kennedy.
Ms. Hunt’s position is personal: her great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier and she emphasized the story of the monument’s origins, with descriptions that were copied from a newpaper article written contemporaneously — flowery, in other words. And, it seems, her uncle, himself a prominent local attorney, had a minor role in the continuation of a college prank during which a bayonet was affixed to the soldier’s rifle. Her sole concession to the thought that anyone might find this monument offensive was to state that her uncle was not racist and neither was she. As for her grandfather, she offered her opinion that he would not have fought for something he did not think was right.
At this point, I must interject that to fight for the right to own and subjugate another human being is not “right” today and it most certainly was not “right” in 1860. Ms. Hunt’s argument pales when the statue on the courthouse square is viewed through the eyes of one whose ancestors were slaves. To someone whose oral family history might include scenes of being horse-whipped for looking at a white woman, or having a child sold and taken from its mother’s arms, or a man having to watch his wife be dragged into a cabin at the master’s bidding and for his personal pleasure, or of a relative’s body, lynched and naked, suspended over a bonfire, this “monument” is most definitely not standing “not hurting anyone today,” as Ms. Hunt writes. The monument caused pain and ill will from the moment it was erected and continues to do so to this day.
I think Ms. Hunt should rethink her argument. If she wants that piece of granite and bronze preserved, fine. Do so on someone’s private property and at their expense. But open up the property of every citizen of Grayson County to all, regardless of color or association with the Civil War.