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Aashna Farishta: Confederate Statues Causing Anger

%E2%80%9CConfederate+statues+like+these+in+the+Arkansas+State+Capitol+represent+hate+and+racism.+Leaving+them+up+is+like+a+constant+kick+in+the+face+that+black+and+other+P.O.C.%E2%80%99s+lives+don%E2%80%99t+matter%2C+and+that+their+voices+are+not+being+heard%2C%E2%80%9D+senior+Aaliyah+Orloff+said.+%E2%80%9CThey+represent+a+time+where+Black+people+were+treated+as+if+they+were+inferior.%E2%80%9D
“Confederate statues like these in the Arkansas State Capitol represent hate and racism. Leaving them up is like a constant kick in the face that black and other P.O.C.’s lives don’t matter, and that their voices are not being heard,” senior Aaliyah Orloff said. “They represent a time where Black people were treated as if they were inferior.”

“Confederate statues like these in the Arkansas State Capitol represent hate and racism. Leaving them up is like a constant kick in the face that black and other P.O.C.’s lives don’t matter, and that their voices are not being heard,” senior Aaliyah Orloff said. “They represent a time where Black people were treated as if they were inferior.”

“Confederate statues like these in the Arkansas State Capitol represent hate and racism. Leaving them up is like a constant kick in the face that black and other P.O.C.’s lives don’t matter, and that their voices are not being heard,” senior Aaliyah Orloff said. “They represent a time where Black people were treated as if they were inferior.”

Aashna Farishta, Voices Editor

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“Confederate statues like these in the Arkansas State Capitol represent hate and racism. Leaving them up is like a constant kick in the face that black and other P.O.C.’s lives don’t matter, and that their voices are not being heard,” senior Aaliyah Orloff said. “They represent a time where Black people were treated as if they were inferior.”

When I walked around the Arkansas State Capitol building, the exquisite golden doors caught my eye. The columns, the vegetation, and the overarching white dome all drew me towards them. All the tall statues seemed so beautiful, until I saw the big, bold letters on the base that read “Confederate Soldiers”.

“Arkansas remembers the faithfulness of her sons and commends their example to future generations,” the plaque on a Confederate statue said.

It’s hard to understand why someone would want to keep Confederate statues. To me, keeping the Confederate statues is keeping the stigma against African Americans; the stigma that has its roots in colonization and the slave trade. They commemorate the notion that people of color are inferior to white people. They dignify and honor slavery. When I see a confederate statue, I can’t help but see White Supremacy and Black oppression. I can’t help but feel as if slavery is being celebrated through those statues. We are celebrating the soldiers who so passionately fought for slavery, and we are mocking the African-Americans who spent their lives enslaved under them.

There are at least 57 monuments in Arkansas that honor the Confederacy, but there aren’t any that honor the African-American slaves. Germany doesn’t have any statues of Hitler, but it has a Holocaust memorial, because the victims are rightfully honored and not the oppressors. People argue that the statues preserve history, but we have textbooks and other written records for that. It’s not like the Confederacy will be forgotten without the statues. They don’t preserve history, they flaunt centuries and lifetimes of slavery.

“The statues need to be taken down. They were created decades after the Civil War as a scare tactic against African Americans who were trying to vote,” senior Tyrah Jackson said. “We are continually seen as below the common man in America and will continue to be marginalized; all those statues represent is the hatred and enslavement of African Americans.”

People argue that it would cost a lot of money to take down the statues, but there are so many organizations that would volunteer to do that for free. We can replace those statues with ones that represent tolerance, acceptance, and pluralism. If someone were to have a Confederate statue in their house, that would be under their freedom of speech First Amendment right, but I see no justifiable reason a government building should have Confederate statues. By doing so, the government is keeping the stigma towards African Americans erect. The statues condone White Supremacy, and allow, yet again, the oppression of African-Americans.

Imagine an African American mother walking alongside her son who points at a Confederate statue and says, “Mom, who is that?” and she has to reply, “He’s one of the men that enslaved people of our color.”

This is what the statues preserve. They are a reminder to African Americans of the brutal treatment of their ancestors.

We need to do what African Americans want in this situation because they are the victims. Our President calling the statues America’s history and culture is correct, but is that what really what we want our history and culture to celebrate? He’s saying that American culture and history is Black Oppression. America needs to be a safe and welcoming place for all people, and although taking down the statues definitely won’t end the prejudice against African Americans, it sure is a good start. America is a salad bowl, and the government should work more towards inclusion and the creation of a pluralistic society.

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