An Elegant Solution to Confederate Statues

In recent weeks, Americans of various groups (mostly the soon-to-be terrorist group Antifa) have demanded the removal of statues of Confederate war figures in the wisdom that they were slave owning racists or something.

Every generation has a new subjective definition of right and wrong (which is objectively wrong). Ultra progressive 1960s Star Trek is now wrongthink, and in another few decades pop culture will dictate a whole new interpretation of Confederate leaders and slave owners.

From the Wikipedia entry on Palimpsest, a process of scraping writing off of valuable vellum and reusing it:

In colloquial usage, the term palimpsest is also used in architecture, archaeology, and geomorphology to denote an object made or worked upon for one purpose and later reused for another, for example a monumental brass the reverse blank side of which has been re-engraved.

While the engravings on statues are not exactly monumental brasses, they still represent a way to refresh the interpretation of a statue without tearing the whole thing down.

It is too aggressive to demand the removal of a statue. If you want to see change, petition to change the plate that describes the significance. It will shift the discussion away from wholesale removal to how we view the objects today.

Of course the new plaques will inevitably be trash (have you ever read the interpretive markers in a museum when they’re inspired by modern liberal arts?) but it another 5O years we will still have the statue as well as an historical precedent to refresh its label.

One Comment on “An Elegant Solution to Confederate Statues”

  1. I agree that every generation has a new subjective definition of right and wrong. This issue has blown up in the media. I cannot scroll through Twitter without seeing it referenced. I think rewriting the plates to explain the historical or cultural significance is a good starting point if you are opposed to all-out removal of the statutes.

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