Because Trump is Winning

Subtitle: no matter what he says, his supporters find at least one thing to justify ignoring  opposition

Statues are nice. The removal of a statue is emotional. Those emotions seem to overpowering our ability to look at history objectively. The history of this past weekend does not feature a statue at the center of discord. It features white supremacists and people who are disgusted by them. The statue and the emotional ties we have to statues are being manipulated by white supremacists and Trump to redirect our conversation away from our country’s racist inclinations and towards emotional appeals of loss aversion. 


In Charlottesville, the City Council decided to remove the statue and rename two parks. White supremacists from across the country came to protest that decision. Democratic processes were followed in the choice to remove the statue. Other statues may be unlawfully removed, and that is illegal and bad, but that does not mean we should be manipulated by people in power who want us to ignore the fact that our history was and our present is being written, at least in part, by violent racists. 


Instead of wishing people stop debating eliminating statues, why not acknowledge flaws and restate strengths of Washington? Dude was a badass….who owned slaves. He created a country that is great to live in…that greatness has not been equally accessible due to issues that he directly benefitted from. Maybe it isn’t as fun, but it is more honest. 

I agree that removing statues won’t heal anything. Comparing our past to a wound is misleading in many ways. It implies the topic at hand will become fixed. Our racist past isn’t a wound that needs healed. It is a system that continues in some ways and needs to be changed. Changing what we celebrate on government property can have an effect on hateful people feeling justified. 

Our country was founded by men. Some of those men owned slaves. We don’t have slavery now and we are governed by men and women. Things change. We all have loss aversion, but the issues of what we celebrate are more important than the physical statues.

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