I’d like to make a suggestion concerning the displacement of some historic statues from the front of the stage to the back of the stage as our society changes to embrace a more just situation.

Historic residences and the statuary we display inform us of our connection to our heritage. Unfortunately, the words on display at these sites sometimes do not reflect the truth of the matter.

A case in point: Gen. Edward Hand was a key historical figure locally, but also a slave-owner. It should be stated in detail at such sites that the good he accomplished is entirely overshadowed by the fact he used slave laborers to accomplish it.

To whom then should go the credit for the accomplishments claimed for him? It is the job of our era to correct the record. The question is how?

I suggest that we choose to let history stand as it is. Change the placement of statues, where that works, but do not destroy them.

Do make one significant addition: At every historic site, amend the existing information to state the true circumstances of the growth of our nation. Adding words that indicate an accurate perspective — for example, that the majority of labor and management done to create a successful farm or region was done by an enslaved race or ethnic group. Show that the American myth of the self-made man developed by employing unjust slave labor.

Jerry Greiner


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