The conservative National Review is calling for the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces, saying they should be reserved for museums and other locations.
“The monuments should go. Some of them simply should be trashed; others transmitted to museums, battlefields and cemeteries. The heroism and losses of Confederate soldiers should be commemorated, but not in everyday public spaces where the monuments are flashpoints in poisonous racial contention, with white nationalists often mustering in their defense,” editor Rich Lowry wrote in a piece published Tuesday.
He argued the recent violence that broke out at a white supremacist rally that started as a protest of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville, Virginia park, should be an “inflection point in the broader debate” over whether the monuments of Confederate soldiers serve a purpose in the public sphere.
“For supporters of the Confederate monuments, removing them from parks and avenues will be a blow against their heritage and historical memory. But the statues have often been part of an effort to whitewash the Confederacy,” Lowry said. “And it’s one thing for a statue to be merely a resting place for pigeons; it’s another for it to be a fighting cause for neo-Nazis.”
Lowry said even Lee himself was opposed to building Confederate monuments after the war, saying he thought it would be “wiser” to “not keep open the sores of war.”
“After Charlottesville, it’s time to revisit his advice,” Lowry said.
Lowry is referencing the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend, when a self-proclaimed white nationalist allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman.
Read the whole editorial here.