My BA is in history with a focus primarily on political history, so here is an my humble opinion on pulling down statues. Iconoclasts where people who participated in a 8th and 9th century Byzantine movement to destroy religious images and statues. Iconoclasts are also defined as people who attack cherished beliefs and institutions.
As a historian and a pirate, I am generally against censorship. I think it is important to keep history with all its warts and evils. In observing history we have an obligation to surround the historical evils with commentary. History is an ongoing dialog between the past and the present. How are we to learn from mistakes unless we acknowledge them and study them?
In some circles Americanism is equivalent to a religion, during ideological wars many things about our country were recast to aide the effort against “The Godless.” In God We Trust was added to US coins during the Civil War, underscoring it as a holy crusade against the tyranny of slavery, and added to paper money during the cold war as a dig against “godless communists.”. Many of the Confederacy statues where erected in the first half of the 20th century during the resurgence of the KKK in the south.
Should confederate statues be taken down? We don’t worship Zeus anymore, so most Zeus statues are in museums. I think museums are fine place to put the statues built to honor the confederacy. The irony of treating those who want confederate statues taken down as traitors to our culture or nation should not be lost. The war was started by the south for preserving slavery, the rebels where traitors, and the south lost; get over it.
The Pirate Party is for human rights, that makes us an enemy of slavery and exploitation. We are for free expression and a diverse and robust cultural discussions. We, the American nation, cannot achieve a respected place in the family of nations until we face and learn from our historical failures. I don’t know that we American’s have ever had a full public dialog about our history of systemic racism, slavery, and the exploitation of women, immigrants, and indigenous peoples.
American greatness can only come with honesty about who we have been. and who we want to be. Exercising America’s demons is not an act of hate, but an act of love,