In response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, a diverse group of anti-racist protesters went full-on Bree Newsome and took it upon themselves to pull down the statue of a Confederate soldier in downtown Durham yesterday.
And we are not mad.
According to local paper The News & Observer, more than 100 protesters “circled the statue of the soldier holding a muzzle-loading rifle and chanted, ‘No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!'” Today, Durham police are searching for the people who actively participated in toppling the symbol of hate, bigotry, and racism, echoing the sentiment of local government officials that there are better ways to handle the removal of such monuments.
Are there better ways though? For decades, various states have been having conversations and votes and more conversations and more votes — yet those statues, street names, and other tributes to traitors still remain in the majority of these places. In fact, The News & Observer reports that just two years ago, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law “preventing state agencies and local governments from taking down any ‘object of remembrance’ on public property that ‘commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.'”
A 15-foot statue with the inscription, “In Memory of ‘the Boys Who Wore the Gray,'” though, has no place in any public space. #SorryNotSorry. Imagine seeing similar types of “remembrances” to Hitler and them in Germany. Oh yeah, you wouldn’t because common sense and decency.
Civil disobedience can have consequences, it’s true — students and adults were arrested, beaten, and even killed because of their participation in marches, sit-ins, and other forms of protest during the Civil Rights Movement. Their sacrifices, however, brought about some major changes.
When it comes to your own personal activism plans, you have to decide what’s best for you. Discuss your frustrations with your parents or guardians, and see what you all can agree to that works best for your family. There’s more than one way to fight hate.