This week I recorded an episode of the podcast “Extra Sauce” [interview begins at 13:30] with Greg Hill and Mike Hsu from the Hil-Man Morning Show, which airs here every morning here in Boston. Thanks to the hosts for the opportunity to reach an entirely new audience. It was a very easygoing and friendly discussion.
I talked mainly with Greg, who was very up front about his own concerns related to the removal and/or re-location of monuments. He worried both about the erasure of history as well as the slippery-slope argument that leads straight to the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. I listened carefully, suggested that we acknowledge certain distinctions between history and memory, and provided some necessary historical context for understanding these monuments.
By the end of the discussion Greg admitted that I had convinced him to give this topic another look. But even more interesting was Greg’s admission that perhaps he didn’t know enough about this subject to arrive at a firm position.
Overall, the experience reinforced for me that my job as a public historian is not to convince my audience one way or the other, but to provide new perspectives and new questions to consider.
Beyond this interview, I have been very busy over the past few weeks talking with reporters from around the country, including the The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Education Week, about Confederate monuments.
In other news, Edward Sebesta has written a 10,000 word essay about me. That’s roughly 35-40 double-spaced pages. This is very concerning. I can only hope that Mr. Sebesta has friends who are looking out for his well being.