It seems everyday there’s another Confederate monument being taken down, and another protest over it. This did not begin in Charlottesville, but has been happening all over the U.S for years. The playbook is pretty simple.
Step 1.) Local activists deface monument, stage protests
Step 2.) Lot’s of media attention
Step 3.) Government relents, issues take down of monument
Step 4.) White nationalists and other groups holds rally and are met with counter protestors (BLM, Antifa)
Step 5.) Violence
Here’s the main issue with that process. There’s absolutely ZERO civil discourse. Lost in all of the media frenzy is the actual reason all this stuff is happening to begin with. The thing is that both sides have valid arguments as for why the monuments should either be kept up, or put down, but we don’t get any of that. We don’t get to hear each sides compelling argument, instead we see these huge clashes between extremist fringe groups.
Then the Republicans and Democrats will use this as political cannon fodder and try to pin it on each other. They’ll say that the neo-Nazis are supported by Trump and the violent Antifa is bought and paid for buy Democratic cronies. Once again we miss the point and we miss the civil discourse that could actually solve the problem.
So what are these arguments? Well there’s one side that believes that the monuments are symbols of slavery, racism, and hatred. On the other side though, you have the people that believe that these monuments represent an important part of our history and need to be preserved. It’s time we start talking constructively about our problems and not let the narrative be controlled by violence. Hopefully that’s one thing we can all agree on.