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< Back to question How do we think about removing controversial statues in the US? Show more Show less

Throughout the US, activists are calling for the removal of controversial statues, which most often depict individuals with slavery or colonization ties. These statues have long been a subject of debate, but the American public’s renewed attention to systemic, racially-motivated violence has brought this conversation into the forefront of public discourse. According to those in favor of removal, these monuments glorify individuals who supported racist institutions. They stand as relics to white supremacy and racial terror. Others argue that these statues must remain because they are a part of our story. Although this is a heinous aspect of our past, removing these statues would be an attempt to whitewash America’s history. So, what are the opinions around this debate?

"We must remove these statues!" Show more Show less

These monuments support white supremacy and racial terror. They propagate a false version of our nation's history by romanticizing slavery, the Confederacy, and colonialism.
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These statues romanticize the Confederacy

These statues promote a false narrative about the Confederacy, ignoring its ties with slavery.
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The Argument

The Lost Cause is a counter-narrative about the Civil War, which gained popularity immediately after the war's end. [1] According to this view of the conflict, the South fought to protect states' rights and dispel Northern aggression, not to preserve slavery. [1] The Confederacy's soldiers were heroic figures, who sacrificed their lives in service to family and liberty. [1] After the war, proponents of this view (like The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans) began constructing memorial statues throughout the South. [2] These statues were meant to preserve a false narrative about the South's involvement in this war, ensuring that future generations absolved their loved ones from guilt and continued to affirm a romanticized view of the Confederacy. The individuals who constructed these statues affirmed a false version of history. They aimed for these monuments to cement this fake narrative in the public's consciousness because they depict Confederate soldiers as heroic and glorious. If we are going to promote the real story of the South's involvement in this war, we must remove these symbols that were meant to affirm a lie.

Counter arguments

These statues serve as reminders of the South's attempt to twist the Civil War's narrative in its favor. Our society needs to remember all of its history- even the attempts to change it. If we remove them, we would be erasing this important aspect of our history. We should preserve these statues, but make sure that these figures' true story is told. In this way, we can promote America's true history, while also ensuring that the public knows that attempts to rewrite history will be unsuccessful.


[P1] These statues are a result of the Lost Cause narrative, which is a romanticized account of the Confederacy. [P2] These statues promote the Lost Cause narrative, which is historically false. [P3] In this way, these statues promote a false history. [P4] For this reason, we should remove them.

Rejecting the premises



This page was last edited on Wednesday, 26 Aug 2020 at 07:15 UTC

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