This has been one hell of a week. I have done more media interviews over the past few days than I have over the past decade. In addition to interviews I have written numerous op-eds, including this one for Smithsonian Magazine. Today I am finishing up a piece for the Atlantic, which asked me to track the evolution of my own thinking about this debate since 2011. More importantly, I am beginning to schedule visits with schools to offer advice on how to engage students about this subject.
Then there is the debate and movement on the ground in cities and towns across the country. I’ve lost track of those places that have moved forward in the process of dealing with their Confederate iconography.
One thing that is clear to me is that everything I wrote about Richmond’s opportunity to steer a middle course, compared to other communities, is obsolete. Saturday’s violence changed the terms of the debate for the city. In placing removal as an option back on the table for its Monument Avenue Commission the mayor has effectively admitted as much as well.
Of course, I do not know exactly what will happen, but it is undeniable that all roads lead to Richmond. At the end of this process Monument Avenue will be transformed in a way that few people will have been able to imagine. It is unavoidable.
Monuments will come down. Stay tuned.