By Trena Elizabeth Morton, Guest blogger
My son will grow up seeing many different people dine at our dinner table. He has bonus aunts and uncles who are white, Hispanic and Arab American . Some are agnostic, Christian and gay.
Most, and I do mean most of us, cannot say the same due to a pretty little word – preferences. Preferences are what wire us to buy homes in certain communities, love the same God yet attend church every Sunday with people who look just like us. Preferences cause us to date solely within our race, hire this candidate over that one, and etc. We are all entitled to our preferences. Those choices support the lifestyle and company we keep. Just understand preferences breed natural biases that we are ALL guilty of. No exceptions.
Oppression – prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Close your eyes and let that definition permeate your mind a bit — really get in tune with how that makes you feel. Open your eyes, remove everything you know about history and where you think this blog post is going.
Now close your eyes again, and feel this definition with a PURE heart. Guess what?!? It is impossible for most of us, because it is something we have truly never encountered.
Give that reality, we should refrain from speaking passionately about what we do not know and cannot feel. We should and do not tell someone that has been raped to “erase it” and move on. We should and do not tell loved ones grieving the life of their significant other that “it is the past, get over it”.
Even though there is truth in the power of not letting the painful events of your past control your future, it is not our job to tell others who have experienced such pain how to feel. My walk of life suggests that life will grant you enough personal battles; fight your own as they are the only ones you will honestly 100% relate to. I digress…
In addressing the controversy of removing Confederate landmarks, it is important to note observations from both sides of Dixie line. Both sides are passionately defending preferences. Fact. Blinded by preferences, both sides have consistently chosen to speak on emotions they cannot connect with. Fact. Tis is true we cannot erase a past that oppressed blacks for far too many moons. Tis is true that such past should not continuously plague the black community and curse generations. Agreed. However, understand these mementos do not memorialize history. They are essentially constructed monuments of “Southern Pride.” A pride that celebrates those that fought and died in a war primarily to protect the right to own slaves. If we are truly portraying history, then it should be universally understood why that is offensive to select citizens of this country.
In the spirit of being solution-oriented, here’s an idea to appease both sides. The South can keep all the statues and monuments of its Confederate heroes. Yay!!! However, if we are truly doing so in the name of history then we will erect counter Union statues that beat that ass to stand next to them. Yay!!! Because that is the true story of the South – aka history.