George Washington and Robert E. Lee are both significant Americans who should be remembered.
We should remember their accomplishments, military successes, philosophies, etc. that contributed to the United States we live in today. AND we should also remember their flaws. Specifically, one deplorable flaw that caused a national wound that is still not entirely healed: Washington and Lee supported slavery. Both men had slaves and maintained the societal structure of white supremacy through racist ideologies. One was less vocal, while the other cemented his place in history as a champion of this lost cause.
Both sides are silly to put so much thought into which statues should remain standing for us to ignore and which ones should be torn down for us to ignore.
- The pro-statue people need to recognize that we should not put flawed men on pedestals to be idolized (specifically a Civil War loser who rebelled against his nation to support a vile cause). They must also realize the connotations their actions and words have; especially the momentum fringe hate groups receive from this kind of divide. American historical figures for educational purposes, not as a silent dog whistle to racists.
- The anti-statue people should focus their energy elsewhere. Do not become overly focused on this tiny aspect of a larger cultural divide. White supremacy is far more institutionally established than just a few statues. If you care about alleviating racism, fight for criminal justice reform or affirmative action. As long as the statue is not overtly commending racism or slavery, let it be.
All those who support statues of Robert E. Lee are not racists. Similarly, the other side is not bent on erasing history or destroying Southern culture.
This seems like such a tiny issue that is being blown out of proportion. Think about who is benefiting from this divide right now and the 24/7 news coverage. Think about who continues to divide us.