Then They Came for Another Piece

The news was all over town, all over the region. Someone declared the Confederate statues offensive. Someone said Take ‘Em Down, and so they did. Protestors were assuaged with promises of a museum. Still, we were angry, but the mayor said it had to be this way. They dismantled our past and hauled it away. It was going to a museum, so it would be safe, right? We watched and shrugged; it’s just a few statues.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/20/529232823/with-lee-statues-removal-another-battle-of-new-orleans-comes-to-a-close

Then they came for another piece.

     CLOSED

We went to the museums to see what we could no longer see, but something was missing. Someone declared the Confederate flag offensive. Someone said Take ‘Em Down, and so they did. Now there is an empty flag pole, blank spaces on the walls. Emptiness. They promised things would be safe in a museum; we cringed and paid the admission price. They took it down anyway. We watched and shrugged; it’s just a flag.

http://www.ajc.com/news/local/with-confederate-flags-gone-civil-war-museum-will-close/ogScTPPdqliC0z4opJ3GTI/

Then they came for another piece.

Monuments to the Confederate dead are surely safe. Still, someone has declared the obelisk a reminder of painful things. We offer a monument of their own, and they scoff. Someone will say Take ‘Em Down, and so they will, piece by piece. They call it progress, moving forward, reparations for historical wrongs. We argue and we are shut down as racist, backward, bigots. We watch and shrug; it’s just a monument.

Then they will come for another piece.

Where will it end? With the dead themselves? I’ve heard it mentioned. What about our children’s textbooks, surely there is something offensive in there. What about the street signs? Take ‘Em Down, someone will shriek. And so they will disappear, one piece at a time. Will the erasers then move Northward? Will the Yankee at last understand the South’s lament when Boston’s Freedom Trail is declared offensive and paved over? Such a rebellious attitude is best forgotten. Will the erasers then move Westward, striking down anything reminiscent of cowboys and outlaws? Such a rebellious attitude is best forgotten. Why stop there? Rebels are everywhere in this land of the free, not just in the South. They will come for another piece, and it may be in your back yard.

The time to take a stand is now, not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. Get to know your local history. Call your congressmen. Contact your local historic preservation groups. Go to your local schools and tell stories about what happened on the ground where that building now stands. History is everywhere. Learn it. Feel it. Share it. Don’t let them come for yet another piece.

 

Rachel Summers