How Nationwide Monuments Have Develop into A Flashpoint In America’s Tradition Wars | TODAY

published on July 8, 2020

SO HOW SHOULD WE HONOR OUR PAST?IT’S A COMPLEX QUESTION WE WENTIN SEARCH OF SOME ANSWERS>> Reporter: HISTORY CHANGINGBEFORE OUR EYESMONUMENTS TORN DOWN OR CARTEDOFF BY WORK CREWS

SYMBOLS BEING RECONSIDERED AS AFULL AND FAST RE-EXAMINATION OFAMERICA’S CHECKERED PAST ISPLAYING OUT IN REALTIMEA RECKONING NOT EVERYONE MAY BEREADY FOR BUT LONG OVERDUE IN

THE EYES OF OTHERSPRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CALLED FORSTIFF SENTENCES FOR ANYONE WHODAMAGES FEDERAL MONUMENTSHE’S ALSO SIGNED AN EXECUTIVEORDER CREATING A TASK FORCE TO

REPAIR STATUES AND FOUNDINGWHAT’S BEING CALLED THE NATIONALPARK OF AMERICAN HEROES WHICHWILL DISPLAY NEW AND DONATEDSTATUES>> WE WILL NEVER ALLOW AN ANGRY

MOB TO TEAR DOWN OUR STATUES,ERASE OUR HISTORY, INDOCTRINATEOUR CHILDREN, OR TRAMPLE ON OURFREEDOMS>> Reporter: A NATION DIVIDEDOVER WHERE IT STANDS ON STATUES

A DESCENDENT OF CONFEDERATEGENERAL ROBERT E LEE HAS JOINEDTHE FIGHT BUT NOT FOR THE SIDEYOU MIGHT THINK>> WE WERE RAISED TO BELIEVETHAT GENERAL LEE WAS A KINDLY,

GENTEEL KIND OF CHRISTIAN MANWHO FIRMLY BELIEVED IN STATESRIGHTSBUT WE DIDN’T FINISH TO SAY THATWAS TO CONTINUE THE PRACTICE FORENSLAVEMENT

>> Reporter: A COMPLICATEDPROBLEM WITH MANY OF THESESTATUES AND SYMBOLS REPRESENTINGDIFFERENT THINGS FOR DIFFERENTPEOPLEDAVID McALLISTER IS A LEADER IN

THE SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANSAND AN ATTORNEY FIGHTING TOPRESERVE CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS>> WHENWHEN YOU LOOK AT ONE OF THOSESTATUES AND MONUMENTS, WHAT DO

YOU SEE? >> I SEE A MAN THAT DEFENDED HIS>> I SEE A MAN THAT DEFENDED HISFAMILY AND HIS HOME AGAINSTTYRANNY AND PHYSICALLY TOOK UPARMS TO DEFEND THEM AGAINST ANILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL

INVASION>> Reporter: DR EDDIE GRAW ATPRINCETON UNIVERSITYIS IT FAIR TO VIEW MONUMENTS ANDSTATUES BUILT GENERATIONS AGO –IS IT FAIR TO VIEW THEM THROUGH

THIS NEW LENS?>> ABSOLUTELY, I THINK>> Reporter: WHY?>> SO IF YOU THINK ABOUTCONFEDERATE MONUMENTS, THIS ISAN EASY CASE

THOSE MONUMENTS ARE MONUMENTS TOAN IDEOLOGYMONUMENTS TO WHITE SUPREMACY>> Reporter: BUT WHY NOW AND ISTHIS UPHEAVAL CONCERNING PUBLICART NEW?

>> HUMANS HAVE BEEN MAKING ARTTO HONOR PEOPLE AS LONG AS WE’VEBEEN MAKING ART AND WE’VE ALSOBEEN TEARING ART DOWN THAT WEDON’T AGREE WITH ANYMORE>> Reporter: BUT IT’S NOT JUST

ABOUT THE OLD SOUTHCHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS TOSSED INBALTIMORE’S INNER HARBORGEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMASJEFFERSON TOPPLEDWE WERE THE FIRST ON PRINCETON

CAMPUS SINCE THEY STRIPPEDWOODROW WILSON’S NAMEHOW FAR DO YOU GO?DO YOU REMAIN THE WASHINGTONMONUMENT?>> THEY’RE COMPLICATED HUMAN

BEINGSSO WE HAVE TO TELL THE TRUTHAS WE TELL THE TRUTH, WE CAN SAYTAKE WHAT WE VALUE AND SAY,WELL, THAT ASPECT OF WHO THEYWERE WE WHOLLY REJECT

>> Reporter: MUCH IS ABOUTEXISTING MONUMENTS AND MANYREVOLVE AROUND RACEWHAT ABOUT THOSE NEVER ERECTED?THERE ARE NO STATUES FROM WOMENIN HISTORY IN NEW YORK CITY’S

CENTRAL PARK>> WHAT IF YOU’RE A LITTLE GIRLWALKING DOWN THE STREET AND ONLYSEE STATUES OF MEN BEINGHONORED?AS A NATION WE CAN’T AFFORD TO

SQUELCH THAT AMBITION>> Reporter: WHAT DOES THISDEBATE OVER THE PAST MEAN FORPRESENT DAY PROBLEMS?THE SYMBOLS COME DOWN, BUTTHERE’S NO MAJOR LEGISLATIVE

RECKONINGIT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE SOMETIMESTHIS IS APPEASEMENT>> WE’RE IN A MOMENT WHEREFUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION HASTO HAPPEN BECAUSE THE COUNTRY IS

BROKENWE CAN’T TINKER AROUND THEEDGESSO YOU’RE RIGHTTHEY MAKE THESE SYMBOLICGESTURES, BUT I DON’T THINK

THAT’S GOING TO BE SUFFICIENT>> Reporter: AS WE EVOLVE, WE ASA NATION ARE HAVING HARDCONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHO TO PUTUP ON A PEDESTALIT’S SUCH A COMPLICATED ISSUE

YOU KNOW, YESTERDAY HARRY SMITHFOR INSTANCE INTRODUCED US, YOUKNOW, TO A SIDE OF THOMASJEFFERSON THAT SOME PROBABLYDIDN’T KNOW EXISTEDYOU KNOW, I ASKED THE QUESTION

ABOUT GEORGE WASHINGTONOBVIOUSLY FOUNDER BUT A LOT OFFOLKS DON’T KNOWWE KNOW THE STORY ABOUT THEWOODEN TEETHMOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THOSE ARE

TEETH FROM HIS SLAVESTHEY PULLED THE TEETH FROM THESLAVESIT’S HOW DO WE RECONCILE ALL OFIT AND HONOR ITI DON’T KNOW

WE TALKED ABOUT THERE ARE NOWOMEN STATUES IN CENTRAL PARKTHERE IS A PLAN TO UNVEIL ONETHIS IS A PICTURE OF WHAT THATSTATUE IS GOING TO LOOK LIKEIT’S SET TO BE UNVEILED NEXT

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