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How do we think about removing controversial statues in the US?
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These people made morally questionable decisions but they weren't completely bad.

These statues depict people who made grievous mistakes, but they also did good. Removing their statues ignores all of the ways they improved society.

The Argument

Although these statues depict individuals who supported immoral institutions, we should not view their failures as a reason for the statues' removal. We should not allow their moral oversights to destroy their legacies, because these individuals contributed to the common good in many ways, despite having failed in some areas. The lives of two notable Civil War figures support this argument well. Robert E. Lee was a Confederate general but also served as president of Washington College, which is now known as Washington and Lee University. [1] Nathan Bedford Forrest, who oversaw the horrific Fort Pillow massacre and reportedly became the first grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, later denounced his racist past and promoted racial equality. [2] [3] Unfortunately, activists are now calling for the removal of both men's statues. Although these people obviously made huge mistakes, their monuments should remain in our public spaces. If we remove their statues, we would be demonizing them and ignoring their positive contributions to society. We should preserve their statues as symbols celebrating their acts of good, knowing that the public understands racism's evil without our condemnation of historical figures.

Counter arguments



[P1] These statues depict people who held morally wrong opinions and supported immoral institutions. [P2] However, these people were not completely evil- they contributed to the common good in other ways. [P3] We should not take down these statues, because these people deserve to be honored for the good they did.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020 at 19:40 UTC

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