Gary Gallagher was recently interviewed on the current debate in Charlottesville, Virginia over the future of Confederate monuments. Gallagher makes a strong case for contextualizing these sites rather than removing the monuments.
I agree entirely with Gallagher that interpretation of these sites can help us to better understand the tough questions related to the history of race in this country and I also agree that any serious look at our nation’s history should, on occasion, make us uncomfortable. At the same time I also believe that there are many ways that we can achieve these goals, one being the removal of certain monuments.
That said, my hope is that Charlottesville’s city council will take advantage of Gallagher’s expertise on the history and memory of these sites.