I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago about the destruction of monuments, statues, flags and bronzed figures. It apparently caused a few people to think about where they stood on the issue. Some wrote down their thoughts. These came to me directly in the form of emails and texts not intended for publication. They also came in the form of the letters that you see on this page.
Though not everyone who contacted me disagreed with my opinion, those who did disagree made some excellent points. I also learned that readers thought my argument meant I favor the continued glorification of racist historical figures and that I’m against the removal of offensive statuary. It wasn’t the “what” I was arguing against, it was the “how” and the “what next.” Tear down a symbol of racism and the racial discrimination still exists today for Blacks, the socio-economic disparities, less access to good schools or jobs and higher rates of incarceration. So I learned a couple of important lessons with that one. Primary among those is thinking twice before relying upon Nietzsche for clarity.
That said, I do hope other columns draw fire based upon this experience. That’s because only one letter writer used an ad hominem approach, jabbing at me rather than my argument. It’s a rhetorical device intended to put a person in her or his place, to silence that person. Although highly annoying, that approach doesn’t work with me. It’s a shame it works on anyone.
That’s probably what I wanted to say most. Thanks for the debate, for the interesting discussions and for keeping it civil. I look forward to much more in the future.
As for now, have a safe and happy Fourth of July.