September 27, 2020

Save Emancipation Monument, Save American Ideals

The debate now surrounding the Emancipation Monument that stands in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., is a critical discussion in which I believe all Americans of goodwill and those who want racial harmony should engage.

The memorial shows a standing President Lincoln with the Emancipation Proclamation in his right hand and Archer Alexander, the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act, at his left in a position that has created historical debate since the statue was erected in 1876.

Those who are overturning and removing statues today have entered this debate not to participate in critical discussion that art is meant to provoke but to remove history they don’t like. They seem to want to rewrite history and replace it with a history they prefer.

But is there something we might call truth? Facts? Is history about searching for those facts and reporting them as they are? Or is history about Hollywood, where we tell stories we want to hear that make us feel good?

The dismantlers tell us this is a portrait of white supremacy: the white president, he who holds the power, standing before the subservient black slave kneeling before him.

But if Lincoln was about white supremacy, someone should have told white supremacist John Wilkes Booth, who fired the shot into the president’s head, assassinating him because he was a champion for the causes of liberty and racial equality.

We can read the famous words of Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

The estimated number of casualties in that Civil War about that great principle — “that all men are created equal” — is 750,000, nearly 70,000 more than all the casualties of all the other wars in which Americans have fought combined.

Contrary to claims of the dismantlers, the freed slave Archer Alexander is not kneeling in servitude before the president but rather, according to many serious voices in this historic debate, getting up and looking out toward his freedom.

It is remarkable to read Alexander’s story: how he was sold from one master to the next, all the while with his eyes toward freedom, exactly as he is depicted in the monument.

Alexander escaped slavery from his fourth master and was about to be returned just as Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. While a fugitive, he was harbored by William Greenleaf Eliot, a pastor and abolitionist who wrote Alexander’s biography and had presented a picture of Alexander to sculptor William Ball, the artist selected to design the memorial.

The Emancipation Memorial, also known as the Freedmen’s Memorial, was paid for by funds raised entirely by former slaves, as they wanted to honor President Lincoln.

Now D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton is introducing legislation to Congress to remove the Emancipation Monument from Lincoln Park. She says, “The statue fails to note in any way how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation.”

But the memorial depicts this exact reality. It depicts a courageous Alexander who risked his life to be free. And it depicts a courageous Lincoln who paid for his convictions with his life.

The Civil Rights movement was animated by the imagery of the Bible — of enslaved Israelites and the appeal to Pharaoh to “let my people go.”

But even here, the movement chose the history it preferred rather than the history that was. The Israelites who were liberated by their God were also sent into slavery by their God. And they were admonished by their God to not forget that slavery.

The Freedmen’s Monument captures, deeply and truly, the American struggle of people of different backgrounds working from their own stations toward mutual ideals.

I salute President Donald Trump’s new executive order to establish a National Garden of American Heroes. He stated that the garden would include statues of American heroes from all walks of American life.

I propose that the new National Garden be in Lincoln Park surrounding this Freedmen’s Monument, and that the park be renamed Unity Park, to capture the theme of American heroism that captures all in our nation under one set of principles and one God.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book “Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America.” Readers can respond to Star’s column by emailing [email protected]

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

18 Responses

  1. Leave the Statues alone you loons. You have a personal problem inside yourself, deal with that. It’s not gonna go away by tearing down Our History.

    1. Statues can be replaced, history can not be changed. Those who think by taring down the old, and putting up new will be surprised when one day their history is torn down.

  2. Washington D.C. should be renamed “The District”. Washington owned slaves and all kinds of people seem to be pissed at Columbus, but dingbats, he never set sight or foot on this part of the continent. But what the Hell, that should make a difference to a communist cancel culture. We need to rename it, Cancel Culture Vultures”.

    1. You know in Seattle there is a statue still standing it’s a statue of Lenin gee I wonder why they left it standing?

  3. IF THEY TAKE ONE STATUE “DOWN”…….TAKE “ALL” OF THEM DOWN?????????? THIS INCLUDES; CIVIL RIGHTS, MLK, WAR,ARTISTS, SPORTS, ETC;…….ALL OF THEM………THEN NO HAS TO VANDALIZE THEM………I AM WILLING TO BET THE ONLY ONES THEY WANT LEFT UP ARE THE BLACK ONES??????????? ANOTHER STUPID MOVE!!!!!! THIS IS WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH???? THEY THINK BY REMOVING THEM YOU CAN “RE-WRITE”. HISTORY?????? LOOKS LIKE NONE OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TO EUROPE??????? THIS WOULD “NEVER” BE ALLOWED THERE???????? YOU DO NOT TELL THEM???? THEY TELL YOU??????

    1. Okay, name changing I’m not too hip on either however, I don’t know how many people understand what Redskins really means so here’s a little education Redskins came from the French Indian war when the French started taking scalps. Scouts for called Redskins. This to me is kind of a demeaning thing to name a team. But on another on the same note, the Cincinnati reds need to change their name because during the civil war there was a band of Saw Union soldiers that even Grant could not stomach they were called the red legs the Cincinnati reds are nicknamed after the red legs. Grant was quoted as saying that these men are nothing but a bunch of cohorted bandits bloodthirsty thieves murderous vagabonds he wanted nothing to do with them. these guys murdered anybody that got in their way and it didn’t matter how old they were it didn’t matter if it was a pregnant woman or an old man they burnt down crops and farms of both north and South farmers. Anybody got in their way within their crosshairs.

  4. I agree leave the statues where they are this is our Country’s History and should be preserved at all cost. None of these people that doing the Riots were ever slaves or neither were their parents. This is just stupid to want to tear our Country for this stupid reason that happened 100 years ago has nothing to do with the citizen of today. This is a stupid thing that is happened and it has nothing to do with the color of our skin. These riots are hurting our country and the people are being paid to do this to tear our country apart for no reasons except money in their pockets. Read you history book and learn about your country and be proud of your country.

  5. Tearing down statues isn’t going to solve anything because the public sees these vandals for what they are, criminals that need to be in prison. Time to put some bracelets on these cowards.

    1. It’s like I said oh, there’s one statue they haven’t touched and it’s in Seattle. They need to go chair that one down it deserves the same fate. Matter fact I don’t even know why we have it. Does anyone know what I’m talking about or who I’m talking about? So that’s my challenge to you b o m go get it tear it down baby smash it burn it because it’s a statue and it don’t fight back.

  6. I think all you idiots out there doing all this destruction your bunch of losers a bunch of losers and you just got no other way to express the fact that you’re just displeased with yourself so you have to take it out on other people and other peoples property. You would be better off to taking a knife and start cutting your toes off, maybe work your way up. You’re a bunch of losers just sick in the head and you need to get help. All of you!

  7. Look and understand this, those statues of the Confederate dead are there because these men gave their lives fighting for their homes and States and NOT for Slavery. 99% or more of them never owed a single slave and many worked in the fields alongside slaves.

  8. Now let’s get to the Statues of the Confederate Military, almost all were leaders in the Union Military before submitting their resignations and accepting commissions in the Confederacy. They would have been honored in statues by the Union Government had the Civil War never happened. I refer to Robt. E. Lee.

  9. This Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln signed applied ONLY to those Slaves currently held in Confederate States! They did not apply to Slaves held in Maryland, Kentucky, etc. that were still in the Union.

  10. Start shooting these communist bastards in the streets like dogs that they are and continue to do so every single day and all violence will stop….guaranteed! Grow some balls America before you’re living in a communist country.

  11. But leave my Cleveland Indians alone dagnabbit!
    I think the putting the statues in the park there in DC is a great idea let’s go for it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

OUR TWEETS

PRESIDENT'S TWEETS

Sign Up For The Daily Newsletter

SYNDICATED NEWS