Taking down monuments is probably one of the most “government” programs possible. We’ll spend lots of money, feel good about ourselves, and accomplish absolutely nothing. This is known in the Real America as a “prototypical government project” and if we got lucky they would finish ahead of schedule and under budget, but not both.
The fact of the matter is that statues don’t cause racism or white supremacy, much like YouTube videos don’t cause terrorist attacks on U.S. consulates in foreign countries, and much like taking the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina capitol building didn’t eradicate racism, removing statues will not vanquish prejudice. Racism has been and always will be a matter of the heart. Now-Secretary Dr. Carson put it quite eloquently in the wake of the fatal shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:
"I think we have to start going to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is not guns. The heart of the matter is the heart, the heart and soul of people.” - Dr. Ben Carson.
We can tear down all the statues we want, but at the end of the day if we want to end racism we have to go to the heart, the heart of each and every American. No government action can cure racism.
At the end of the day, Americans are not each other’s enemies. The real enemies are those like the alt-right and ANTIFA that for some reason think they have a license to hurt people they don’t agree with and play on fear and prejudice to turn us against our neighbors. It’s as Justice Antonin Scalia stated in 1995 Adarand Constructors Inc. vs. Peña “we are just one race here. It is American.”
In the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, it cost $2.1 million dollars to take down four Confederate memorials. In a country with twenty-trillion in debt and one hundred and twenty-trillion in unfunded liabilities, there are much better things we can do than engage in another “prototypical government project.” Also, New Orleans is not exactly overflowing with cash to spend. According to the proposed 2018 New Orleans city budget, the city is expected to run a deficit between six and seven million dollars.
The cure to racism isn’t taking down hundred-year-old inanimate objects (shocking, I know) but a plethora of other activities, from education, friendship, volunteering in your community to having a beer (or select beverage of your choice) with someone who doesn’t look like you.
The intent of this article is not to defend either side present at Charlottesville, but rather to point out that if we want to solve a crisis as important as racism in America; we better not put the government in charge (look how well the government is fighting the war on drugs and taking on poverty all at once. One thing that the government does do exceedingly well is landscape foreign countries.) and if we are going to spend money fighting racism; we need to spend money in a manner which actually accomplishes something- if we spend government money on the issue at all. For social issues like this, the human spirit and goodness of the American heart will always do more good than government spending ever can.
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