Regardless of how much we would like it to be the case there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to Confederate monuments. The wave of Confederate monument removals over the past summer has died down significantly. Much of the media’s attention is now focused elsewhere. Communities across the country must decide how best to engage its residents around possible ways forward.
In Franklin, Tennessee this has resulted in new historical markers installed around the monument that focus on African-American history. I’ve expressed skepticism in the use of historical markers and the verdict is still out as to whether their use here constitutes a solution that addresses the fundamental challenges that these monuments pose.
What I do appreciate, however, is the thoughtfulness on the part of local leaders who chose to take part in this process. You get a sense of this thoughtfulness in the conversation that took place last night about this project.
One of the things that this conversation reinforces in my own mind is that the outcome of whether a monument should remain or be removed may not be as important as the community conversation itself and whether it brings us closer together.