Debate Regarding Confederate Statues Ignites

Written by Daniel Alvarez and Connor Graham

The infamous white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, VA got violent on August 12, 2017. These rallies caused one person to die and three people to be injured. The violence and chaos of these rallies brought a lot of attention to Confederate monuments across the country. Places like Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; and Brooklyn, New York all took down Confederate statues due to what happened in Charlottesville.

Being a site for Civil War history, Loudoun County also has Confederate statues, including one on the county’s courthouse lawn in Leesburg.

Lizzie Clark, an 11th grader who considers herself a moderate liberal, says the statues need to be kept, but don’t necessarily need to be kept in public. “It might be better to have an alternative way to remove them from public spaces, where they don’t cause a lot of public backlash,” says Clark. “But, we can still preserve history through the preservation of the statues in a museum, rather than the public.”

However, when it comes to the statues being taken down in Loudoun, she had a different opinion.

“I think if there’s a situation where people are fighting back against it, that they should consider it.”

Clark feels like it depends on the demographic and what people define as offensive in a future situations where people are considering taking down more statues. She also feels like there shouldn’t be a generalized statement made about all the statues, because she doesn’t find them offensive if they have historical value.

James Shockey, a conservative who’s in 11th grade, believes that taking down the statues will only cause more destructive acts. He says, “Taking down the statues is only going to make people who are actually racists, or people who believe in the confederate-cause more embracing of the Confederacy, because of the fact that they are being censored. It’s only going to make people who are already about those ideals become worse.” Even if we have had negative things in the past, we shouldn’t try to forget about them.

Shockey says, “It’s something we shouldn’t embrace, but it’s also something we shouldn’t forget.”