Viewing monuments with both eyes open

The president's idea of a National Statuary Park is not a bad idea if we also make it an educational experience where one sees the image with both eyes open, not just through one all-positive eye or one all-negative eye. The problem with most statues is that they perpetuate myths concerning the person they depict. It is much like the quote from the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

“This is the West, sir, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

George Washington did not chop down a cherry tree and Robert E. Lee was not fighting for a just cause. The U.S. Constitution is a great document that started the modern “Great Experiment” of representative government. However, it did not start as representative government for all.

This is not a “Cancel Culture” time as our president has reputed it to be. Rather, this is a cultural realism time and a time of cultural introspection. We and our children do not need sugar-coated legends printed as fact and labeled as history or statues of people of whom we only know half-truths. The great deeds should be admired, but we need truth to rectify the damages from accepting the myth as truth and to make we the people a much closer reality.

If there must be statues, let them proclaim the truth and not the glorification of mythical, treasonous and sometimes despicable deeds.

Ralph Williams

Joplin

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