Those of you, who like me, have been paying attention to the demands of students around the world, especially in Yale, South Africa and UK, for a rewrite of history would welcome the suggestion by this reader of the Economist who wrote
What to do about Confederate monuments? One suggestion as you reported is to add plaques to them explaining their background (“Recast in stone”, February 6th). Statues and monuments are immediately visual experiences, not reflective mental experiences. Remove the sabre from the hand and put into it a lash and from the other hand a chain that leads to a collar around the neck of some poor miserable wretch. Add one or more statues of slaves to every monument to the Confederacy and the viewer will immediately and viscerally understand what the civil war was about and what Confederate soldiers fought for. Instantly those men will be deprived of the patina of nobility and gallantry that they did not earn and do not deserve to have attributed to them.
Bang Bua Thong, Thailand
This way all groups are appeased; those who want the monuments to stand get their wish and those who feel the monuments don’t tell the entire story also get their voice heard.
But I think there’s a problem when students in higher institutions of learning prefer sanitising their environment of every history. I have read of students voting to ban free speech groups on campus! What’s the world coming to? Are the current generation of students so pampered they can’t read Huckleberry Finn without crying erase the nigger references! What world will they preside over?