Where is the line drawn on acceptable statues?
I have received a lot of mail on last week's column about the toppling of statues.
Thank you, readers. I expect the people who are knocking over Columbus, etc., are not newspaper readers. I gather they watch whatever is streaming now.
How quickly we leap to conclusions when we see shaky video. Witness the state policeman who was accused of using a white racist hand signal — a gesture only recently declared white racist, and by the way, news to me — when all he intended was to ask a person if he was OK.
People are entirely too jumpy and meanwhile, we, the older and wiser, are locked up in our homes to avoid being knocked off by coronavirus.
If they would let me out of isolation, I have given thought to what statues I would target. I would need help. I don't think that I, or any other little old lady I know, is strong enough to topple much of anything.
By all rights as a woman, I have a lot of grudges to settle against this country. Jefferson, that scoundrel, said all "men" are created equal, so right there is a major grievance. Women were not allowed to vote when this country started.
If you think about it, that gives us a lot of targets. We could knock over every statue of a man.
How many monuments would we have left after that? Given enough help we could take out every Pope and American president, every Mormon elder, most preachers, nearly all doctors and quite a few literary giants and poets.
And the lovely old elk removed in downtown Portland is a male and was, no doubt, a philanderer.
Who would be left among the female monuments? Emily Dickinson, Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton, for sure. Golda Meir, the Statue of Liberty, Venus. Oh, and Sacagawea.
But that is not as simple as it sounds. At the women's right to vote museum in Seneca Falls, N.Y., one of the figures standing with the group of suffragettes who won the vote in this country is Frederick Douglass, black and male. He supported women while fighting for his own rights. If we send a mob in there to take out hated statuary, will they know enough to leave Douglass alone?
Hating is tiresome work. And ultimately unsuccessful.
It's time to leave the streets and take seats.
Meetings — oh, the endless meetings — that it takes to make things better in a democracy.
Demonstrators walked the walk, now they must talk the talk. Sit down. Sit down in conferences with law enforcement, city, county and state governments and make change.
Someday you might get your own statue.
Sharon Nesbit can be reached at [email protected] outlookonline.com.
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