Once it is gone, it is gone. Not so fast. Several years ago, under cover of darkness, the Manatee County Commission removed a Confederate Soldiers War Memorial from the county courthouse grounds.
Several organizations that had advocated for less police funding had protested against the monument’s existence at the courthouse. Competing demonstrations had argued for and against the monument’s removal. Since the removal of the monument, resentment has lingered among some about how the incident was handled by the county commission.
Today, some county residents desire to return the Memorial monument to the county courthouse. This would not be a wise decision in my opinion.
Returning the monument would provide campaign fodder for those who wish to portray our current county commissioners as error prone amateurs who are hurting Manatee County’s image. Returning the monument would also bring all sorts of anti-police groups to our county and this would allow the liberal media to portray our citizens as ignorant far-right Trumpsters.
Businesses looking to relocate would bypass our area to avoid the ensuing media fallout.
I am a son of the south and I take pride in my Southern heritage. I also take pride in the way the South worked through the rough times and reconciled many of our differences.
Today, we learn from our past but we cannot focus on the past. The nightmare of slavery and discrimination has been defeated but problems persist and they always will. The way to attain the goal of the color-blind society that Dr. King described is not by pouring kerosene on any remaining burning embers of past fires.
We all know obnoxious people who are so competitive they will run roughshod over anyone to win the contest. Such people may be valued in the sports world but they are not effective in the political arena. Sometimes an event occurs that we do not like yet it seems best to let bygones be bygones
Manatee County is a diverse community that has grown dramatically over the past decade. The important issue for our community is reaching racial harmony for the next 150 years. Finding racial healing and harmony will allow our children and grandchildren to focus on maintaining our beautiful quality of life and avoid refighting past wars over and over.