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Replace statues of bigots with honors to civil rights heroes

Civil rights demonstrators this summer have engaged in a new round of tearing down statues of people they see as champions of bigotry. Why not replace them with statues of the heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement?

Late last year, people in Montgomery, Alabama erected a statue of civil rights legend Rosa Parks. A few weeks ago, officials in Cincinnati unveiled plans for a bronze statue of Marian Spencer, another heroine of the cause.

Removal of statues such as those honoring men who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War is seen by some as refusing to pay homage to people who defended slavery. Would it not be appropriate to recognize men and women who, sometimes at the cost of their lives, battled it and the associated evil of racial bigotry?

It costs states and cities a lot of money to put up a statue or monument to someone. They should be sure that those who are honored are people who have greatly contributed to the betterment of their community. There’s no assurance that their contributions may be viewed differently in the decades ahead, but we should be able to make the case for those whom we honor are people who will stand the test of time.

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