Our Politicians are on the Wrong Side of History

I travel a lot, and this past week I was in Louisville, Kentucky. As I was catching up on the news, a small tag line scrolled along the bottom of the screen, telling viewers that the Mayor of Louisville had prevailed in a lawsuit, and had gained the right to pull down a monument to the Confederate army. The monument is located on a bit of an island, near a traffic intersection, bordering the University of Louisville. The president of the university had also advocated moving the monument. The reason? That it might offend someone. Since 1895 this beautiful piece of art, dedicated to "Our Confederate Dead", has represented that - as a people - we remember those who came before us.

Louisville, Kentucky 
I was incredulous, and as I drove over to take a look at the monument, it occurred to me that - in just this past year - I've been in too many places where these works of art are being assaulted. Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; and now Louisville. I've watched politicians bend to pressure, and buckle under threats. The American Civil War was fought over a myriad of reasons: taxes, exports, slavery, states' rights, home defense, patriotism, party politics, and sectional hatred - for a short list. Yet the ignorant and hateful step forward and declare that anyone who admires - at all - the Confederate soldier, is wrong to do so. And they use expressions such as: "It's time to do the right thing."; "The South was on the wrong side of history."; "We need to move forward." They proclaim they favor diversity, while removing that very thing - an incredible act of doublespeak. Sometimes they reference the point that the South lost, as if that should hold some significance.

I sit here today and think about what's happening in America. We are setting a precedent that monuments can be destroyed, purely depending on the opinions of a few who don't understand history - or art - for that matter. They believe themselves to be enlightened, when the fact is that they are uneducated on the realities of history. I can think of no other country that allows its historic monuments to be torn down and carried away, due to mere whims of the moment.

We watch in horror as ISIS chips away historic monuments, yet we say nothing when the same sort of thing is happening 50 miles down the road. It's time we stop this madness.

New Orleans
The world is filled with monuments to losers. Would you tear down the cross in Rouen to Joan of Arc? Should we pull down the monument to King John of Bohemia at Crecy? Shall we blast the name Montcalm off the obelisk in Quebec City? Why keep the artistry that is the monument to Los Ninos Heroes in Mexico City? What about the statue to Napoleon at Place Vendome, or Vercingetorix on the hilltop in Alise-Sainte-Reine? Are you ready to turn the Alamo into a boutique hotel?

Finally, let me ask what happens when the politicans come for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, containing the names of 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in a losing cause? When will that happen? How many years - after the last one dies - will the cries come for its removal? Have no doubt, they will come, and we've set the standard that that's OK in America.
Louisville - 2016
The mayor of Louisville says he's going to wait to topple the monument, and is cushioning the blowback against his decision by asking a committee for a recommendation as to what to do with it.

The mayor of New Orleans is doing something very similar, as he prepares to pull down three incredible pieces of art down there. The Louisville monument currently is fenced in, as if the statuary of soldiers on it might suddenly spring to life and fix bayonets to their Enfields, or ram home a shell into their Parrott guns. Common sense might yet prevail, but I hold no real hope. The Louisville mayor and the University of Louisville president have shown themselves to be men of no character and, when we look back, we'll see that America was at its worst when we allowed the destruction of our past - of our heritage. We have to step up. We have to stop it. We have to tell the politicians no more. We, by allowing this sickening destruction, are on the wrong side of history.


  1. these are the comments of a logical , wise author, I applaud you Mr. Turner . Here, here!!

  2. well said - you are 100% correct and I applaud your logic and wisdom . Huzzah!!!

  3. Thank you all. It's time to stop this madness, and America deserves better.