As the protest movement roils on, America’s forced atonement is now targeting its greatest sin: slavery.
A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was torn down in Richmond, Virginia along Monument Avenue on Wednesday night.
The statue of the Confederacy State’s President lies in the former capital of the southern rebellion since June 3rd, 1907. However, it was toppled shortly before 11 p.m., according to reports.
Social media told the tale and as the monument was being towed away, the crowd cheered.
Down the road, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) away, protesters in Portsmouth beheaded and then pulled down four statues that were part of a Confederate monument also on Wednesday.
Prior to that, a statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond was torn down by protesters. It was set on fire and then submerged into a lake on Tuesday.
According to reports, the Columbus statue was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered chanting for the statue’s removal.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam last week ordered the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It was a mere four blocks away from where the Davis statue stood.
Surface Appeasement or Real Atonement?
With monuments coming down there is a double edged sword effect.
There is the ultimate satiation of removing eyesores of men who profited from murder and human trafficking. However, did these monuments serve as a reminder of the racism that is endemic to the American system?
Many people of color have contended that the statues allowed them hard teachable moments.
In 2017, Sandra Crenshaw, a former Dallas City Council member, teamed up with the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West and Sons of Confederate Veterans to oppose the creation of a task force charged with removing Confederate monuments from the city’s public spaces.
“Some people think by taking a statue down that that’s going to erase racism,” Ms. Crenshaw told CBS Dallas. “It’s misguided.”
There is much merit in that vantage point. When immersed in blackness one can easily forget the mentality of those who are puppeteering the system. Research the wealthy groups that finance the monuments like the Daughters of the American Revolution and local committees.
The spirit of rebellion and chivalry of a forlorn era for white America has always superseded the face that it came on the backs of Americans of color.
Still, the monuments forceable removal was far more jolting them the silence we’ve endured passing these false idols for years lamentably.
Now is the time to really drive home the need for reparations. As Bob Johnson, founder of BET said, ““Now is the time to go big” to keep America from dividing into two separate and unequal societies, Robert Johnson said in a CNBC interview.
Johnson said reparations would send the signal that white Americans acknowledge “damages that are owed” for the unequal playing field created by slavery and the decades since.
The wealth divide and police brutality against people of color are at the heart of protests that erupted across the nation. Let’s use the energy the ancestors is steering us towards, those that stole wealth through enslaving black bodies.
The real atonement will be financial as America has begun a process the people must see all the way through.