Letter to the Editor: What should we do with historical statues in public places?

Used for illustration purposes, this December 2012 file photo shows a Confederate-themed statue being removed from Dixie State College (now Dixie State University), St. George, Utah, Dec. 6, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

OPINION — There is currently a passionate debate going on over the removal of historical statues from public places. After considering both sides of this issue I feel there’s a fairly simple, common sense solution to guide our decision making.

When a statue is located in a place of honor, like a public park or in front of a government building, we need to assess why the person is being so honored.

In the case of Washington or Jefferson, although they were slave holders, we are not honoring them for this reason but for their invaluable contributions to starting our country. However, why would we honor a general of the Confederacy, a group of states which succeeded from the US and fought a war against it.

These statues have a legitimate place as art and history but not in a place of honor. That said, the rule of law must be followed and mobs should not be allowed to destroy them. The police need to do their jobs.

Peaceful protests and political discussion should get our leaders to see this and legally move these statues to places where they can be viewed for their historical and artistic value by those who choose to do so.

Written by MARK S. BOROWIAK, Hurricane, Utah.

Letters to the Editor are not the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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  • Proud Rebel August 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    OK, first off, the people who get all butt hurt and bent out of shape over history, need to grow up. Look, history is just that, a history of what happened. Not what some people wish had happened.
    As far as destroying statues of any kind, unless they are the property of those destroying them, then the people destroying them are criminals, committing vandalism. Now the cops may, or may not decide to do their jobs and arrest these criminals. But they are criminals, non the less. They aren’t patriots, they aren’t people who are trying to get things changed, they are criminals. I’ll say it again slowly. If you vandalize property that is not yours, you are a c r i m i n a l, and should be treated as such.
    If you have a legitimate problem, with a statue or anything else that is on display, there are legal remedies to address this. If you decide to take the law into your own hands, you are, (guess what,) a CRIMINAL.
    I am a Dixie Rebel, and proud of it! I’ve never oppressed anybody, I’ve never owned a slave, or treated anyone of any race with disrespect, just because of their race. (This includes not only race, but religion and sexual orientation.) But I am still, and always will be, a Dixie Rebel.

    • Jim August 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm


    • Just Bob August 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Maybe we should put up a monument to the Mountain Meadows massacre folks. Such a proud moment for the Mormons. It’s history of what happened, not what people wish happened, well except for Brigham Young.

      • jaybird August 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

        There is already a momnument for those who lost their lives at Mountain Meadow.

    • jaybird August 23, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      Some consider you a proud racist.

      • Utahguns August 24, 2017 at 10:08 am

        …..Maybe some of you left wing-nut liberals would feel that way, but, I support Proud Rebel’s statements.

  • Craig August 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    We should leave historical statues in public because they are historal statues.

  • Just Bob August 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Well written Mark. I couldn’t agree more. It is to bad most people aren’t as level headed as you.

  • Brian August 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I agree, Mark. The liberal snowflakes don’t realize the slippery slope they’re starting (not that they generally have the intellectual honesty to push things down that slope consistently). New York (city and state) was named after the biggest slaver in our nations history. Should it be renamed? Margaret Sanger was an absolute monster, should Planned Parenthood that she started be shut down? (YES, actually, but not just because it was named after her, but because of what it is)

    We need a good “summer” in the US to melt away all the snowflakes, without the artificial refrigeration to preserve them, currently being supplied by universities, the media, the government, and lots of funding by people like George Soros.

  • Jim August 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    This letter covered all of the bases. Good job, Mark.

    But, please let the triggering and justification of felonious behavior commence.

  • NickDanger August 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Rewriting history is a neverending pursuit of the world’s governments. This current controversy over statues only makes me chuckle a little. I mean, I just don’t care about historical statues. I see one and I’m like, “Oh, a statue, I wonder who it is? Or do I?” as I’m passing by and forgetting about it.

    But here’s an idea anyway, since so many minorities and liberals have their panties in a wad over statues these days:

    Trigger Warnings! The streets leading to the statues will have signs warning approaching motorists of the possibility they may be triggered. The race, gender, religion, politics, or sexual orientation of those who may be offended by, let’s say, a Brigham Young statue, will be listed on the sign. “Attention! Trigger Warning! The Statue Located 100 Yards Ahead May Be Considered Offensive By: Anti-Polygamists, Non-Mormon Christians, or Homosexuals.” Then, of course, the motorists could take a different route altogether.

    Or…they could just stay on their current route and try, against all odds, to hold that triggered feeling deep inside and not let it manifest itself in the form of a riot, or the defacing of the offending statue. They could try to remember that the statue isn’t for them, it’s for people who respect and like Brigham Young. They could try to remember that it is only a statue and can’t actually come to life and marry all their sisters. They could remain calm and accept that there are other people on the planet who don’t agree with them about every little thing.

    Or again, they could take that different route. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

  • Real Life August 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Is it just simple irony that the far left became the Taliban after Trump took office? Yes the Taliban and ISIS.. They too tear down statues. Where were these people the last 8 years?

    • Real Life August 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Or 160 years, for that matter.

    • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Completely flawed facts, logic and comparison.

      Charlottsville Statues are being moved by local government. Pittsburg and New Orleans as well. The most recent rise in removal started after Dylann Roof’s domestic terrorism, not with Trump’s election. He associated with white supremacy and often totted around a confederate flag. That eventually led to a conversation about confederate symbolism and even Republican Nikki Haley took strong measures and took down the Confederate Flag.

      But this has been a long term battle especially since the end of Jim Crow. I would recommend you do more research to answer your own question.

    • mesaman August 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      You are too modest RL. the democrats have been like taliban and isis for over 50 years now.

  • Hugh Jass August 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    One big thing that bothers me about tearing the statues down is that it seems those who want to pull them down want to forget that part of our history and as the famous quote goes, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Do you think we are really so quick to forget the Civil War or that statues with one or two lines of rememberance make a difference in that issue? I think not. We have museums and books for that. As the author posited, statues are to honor shared values and one has to wonder why so many Americans care about honoring secessionist?

    • jaybird August 23, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Except there are museums for all that.

  • ladybugavenger August 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    They should melt the celebrity wax statues

    • mctrialsguy August 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Ladybugavenger…I totally agree, celebrities do not deserve wax statues, good call.

  • jaybird August 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Didnt even realize this statue existed until brought up. But if its representative of traitors who tried to bring dow the union why should these people be commemrated, unless there is a statue for Trump, another traitor whose doing his best to bring down the union..

  • 42214 August 23, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Put them all in Ed’s yard so he can experience diversity and be morally offended.

  • stg-anon August 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    > When a statue is located in a place of honor, like a public park or in front of a government building, we need to assess why the person is being so honored.

    You’re exactly right. We need to consider the reason why the monument was put up in the first place.

    Sadly, the motivation for many of the confederate monuments was explicitly racism. They were built in response to civil rights movements, not to honor the dead, and not for the sake of history, they were built out of spite and hatred.

  • dodgers August 24, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Well said Proud Rebel. I’d add, where does it all stop? Shouldn’t the statue of Robert Byrd also be torn down? Although the longtime Democrat senator was Hillary Clinton’s mentor (according to Hillary), he was also a longtime member of the KKK. Yet his statue remains, along with the many streets and buildings with his name. As for Robert E. Lee, I’d wager that most of his statue haters have no clue about him—-who he is, certainly nothing beyond being a leader of the confederate army. As for Mark’s comment about a passionate debate, I’ve haven’t seen it. Instead it’s been a lynch mob of criminal thugs destroying property, breaking our laws, while many including “law enforcement” and politicians look the other way.

  • Utahguns August 24, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Racism is very much alive in America — among influential black Americans. Some of them have pictures and statues dedicated to their beliefs and movements…yet no one is screaming to have their images removed from public places.

    For example:

    1. Al Sharpton.
    Provocateur and make-believe civil rights leader. He helped to incite anti-Jewish riots in Crown Heights, New York in 1991. He uses the word “cracker” to refer to various white people and has ties to the criminal underworld.

    2. Barack Obama.
    U.S. president who commonly injected race into a political fight, no matter how inappropriate.

    3. Michelle Obama.
    First Lady who only stopped being ashamed of her country when it began to support her husband.

    4. Eric Holder.
    U.S. attorney general, who hates conservatives and doesn’t believe in enforcing civil rights laws when white people are victims.

    5. Oprah Winfrey.
    Billionaire media entrepreneur, but who can’t stop resenting white people.

    6. James Cone.
    Founder of black liberation theology.
    James Cone is the father of it all. We can only wonder how many people have been killed by followers of black liberation theology, which Cone invented. Cone was a Professor of Systematic Theology at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He regards America as an irredeemably racist nation.

    7. Martin Luther King III.
    One of the leaders of a civil rights movement that long ago outlived its usefulness.

    8. Cornel West.
    Best-selling author and superstar professor whose image manages to outshine his dreary intellectual mediocrity.

    9. Louis Farrakhan.
    Leader of a hateful Islamic cult.
    There are few groups in American society that Louis Farrakhan, who ought to be under constant FBI surveillance, does not hate.

    10. Alice Walker.
    Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and bleeding heart who adores cop killers and Fidel Castro.

    I also want to include Colin Kaepernick and his band of black protesting players, who in my mind, are one of the most disgusting groups of individuals. His attempts at implying the NFL is a racist organization shows the lack of fortitude and backbone by the NFL commission. His disdain for the American Flag and the National Anthem is pitiful.

    These 11 public figures for the most part do not suffer any consequences for their racism or their cynical use of race for political purposes. While they incite and promote hate against whites, hypocritically, they’re looked up to and in some cases immortalized in public venues.

    Long live Dixie.

  • commonsense August 24, 2017 at 9:18 am

    It’s not about the statues. Dems have so little power they look to protest, violence and disruption to retain they’re partisan following. Have you heard any legislative proposals from the left ?
    Have Dems won any elections of late? Dem fund raising is way down? Dems have no leader. If Hillary is the best they can offer, it’s a broken party.

  • mctrialsguy August 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm


    • stg-anon August 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Do something great for the country, such as waging a war against it like the people you’re arguing for did?

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