Carolina Day School

Honors Papers 2021-22

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KOON 1 Caroline Koon Ms. White and Ms. Nelson Biosocial Ethics and Motives 23 September 2020 To Remove or Not to Remove? That Is the Question In recent years, there has been much discussion surrounding privilege and systemic racism and debate has sprung up over Confederate monuments and the merits of keeping them up. On one side of the spectrum lies the argument that these statues should be kept up out of respect for history or those who gave their lives. On the other side, people argue that they stand for racism and discrimination and only enable more prejudiced behaviour, and thus should be taken down. A third group says that they should be kept, but moved to museums or battlefields instead. It seems everyone has a different opinion, which wouldn't necessarily be a false statement. The history of these Confederate monuments is a long and complex one, and deserves an answer that takes into account all the circumstances and variables involved. The history of Confederate monuments dates back to the first year of the Civil War and goes up right into the early 2010s. According to a graph provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the first Confederate monument was erected in 1861. The Reconstruction saw the construction of about 50 statues, as would be expected after the most taxing war in American history (SPLC). However, it wasn't until the turn of the century, about forty years after the Civil War, that the rate of construction really picked up. This period also brought Jim Crow laws into existence which institutionalized discrimination and imbued racism into larger society. These monuments can be found at schools, beside roads, on courthouse grounds, and outside of government buildings (SPLC). They range from statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to plaques bearing the names of fallen Confederate soldiers. Some of them were paid for by private citizens and some of them paid

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