In recent weeks the movement to remove Confederate names and monuments has picked up steam. For example, the city of Atlanta named an advisory committee to handle Confederate monuments and street names while a Dallas school board voted unanimously to rename four schools in the Dallas Independent School District. In addition, a school in Jackson Mississippi that had been named after Jefferson Davis is being renamed after Barrack Obama. With these actions being taken, it forces one to question whether we should remove the names of Confederates from schools and streets.
Those who want to see the confederate names removed see them as honoring people who enslaved countless others. They look at the confederates as traitors who are responsible for all those that died during the Civil War and don’t think they deserve to be honored. In addition, many African Americans view those names as an constant reminder of slavery, and it is wrong to make them go to school or live on streets that have those names.
People who want to keep the names view them as honoring history. They believe that you cannot ignore parts of your history, and to remove confederate names is a way of doing just that. Also, before there was a Confederacy, many of the Confederate leaders and generals served the United States. So, they could be honored for that service. Finally, if we try to erase the Confederacy from our society so we can forget it, then we are inviting it to be reborn in the future. As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”