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How do we think about removing controversial statues in the US?
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These statues honor individuals who harmed indigenous people.

We should not venerate historical figures who drove indigenous people away from their homes. Honoring these figures is insensitive to native peoples' feelings and romanticizes colonialism.

The Argument

We should remove statues of certain historical figures because of their treatment of indigenous people. The cases of Christopher Columbus and Andrew Jackson illustrate this point well. Although some historians question this, Columbus is often credited with discovering America. Regardless of whether he was really the land's first explorer, Columbus contributed significantly to the colonization of North and South America. For indigenous people, these colonization efforts resulted in hundreds of years of suffering. He also personally treated native people cruelly, enslaving or killing many of the West Indies' indigenous people. [1] Andrew Jackson was America's seventh president and an avid supporter of "Indian removal." [2] During his presidency, Native Americans were forced to leave their land, walking over 5,000 miles on what is now called "The Trail of Tears." Many did not survive this journey, and those who did were eventually deprived of what the federal government had promised them as "Indian territory." [3] [2] Obviously, these two historical figures, and others like them, contributed to the suffering of indigenous people. Praising them as heroes is insensitive to Native Americans and promotes a sanitized view of colonialism. For these reasons, we should remove their statues from public spaces.

Counter arguments

Although these historical figures made grievous mistakes, they also contributed to America in positive ways. Columbus championed the exploration that eventually led to America's first European settlements. After becoming an orphan at fourteen, Jackson became the most powerful figure in the United States. During his presidency, he advocated zealously for democracy and the common man. [4] Both of these people made poor decisions, but their stories are complex and cannot be dismissed as simply negative. We should preserve these statues as celebrations of their contributions to America because even imperfect historical figures deserve recognition for their good work.



[P1] These statues depict individuals with strong ties to colonialism and "Indian removal." [P2] These efforts harmed indigenous people. [P3] We should not honor figures who harmed other people.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 11 Jul 2020 at 06:28 UTC

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