Last week, events in Charlottesville cornered the media as images of white supremacists and protesters littered social channels. Confederate statues vanished in multiple cities, crying out in support of equality and denouncing racism. And, rightfully so. They were only statues; people are worth far more.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (Romans 14:13 ESV).
After such a garish week, I hopped in my Mustang and headed for the beach for some much needed rest and time to write. I arrived this afternoon and sat by the pool conversing with other guests. Diversity set the stage as a white family, an African-American family, an elderly couple, and a single woman all lounged around the same pool.
The white family had two girls, probably 10-12 years in age, and the black family had two daughters who appeared to be roughly the same age. As the black girls entered the pool, the white girls immediately gravitated towards them albeit somewhat hesitantly. Eventually, they were jumping into the pool, doing hand stands, and playing around.
I would never take pictures of someone else’s children and post them on social media, but I wanted to. In the aftermath of such ugly violence, I cannot tell you how it refreshed my soul to see those girls playing and getting along.
How can we bottle that innocence/ trust and market it to the masses? (or at least to those practicing hate). Why do we endorse what divides?
I’ve given little thought to the presence and meaning of Confederate statues prior to last week. However, if they conjure up the emotions that occurred in Charlottesville, then remove all the statues. I have no desire to let sculptures be stumbling blocks in the way of my fellow man. During segregation, they had separate white and colored drinking fountains. I don’t see any of those hanging around for the sake of posterity.
I know that the statues are part of this country’s history (the Civil War is my favorite historical time period to study), but we can make new history. We can tell the next generation about this chapter in the story of equality in the great United States of America. We can regale them about how we took down the statues in order to condemn hate and to promote the well-being of all. We can tell them of the importance of loving your neighbor and sharing life with all types of people.
Put the statues with the drinking fountains, and let us forge ahead.