In thinking about the Confederate statues at Cheapside, there has been a good deal of discussion about our nation’s history. But much of the privileged white population paid scant attention in the early 1900s when these statues were erected.
The superiority of white Southern elites is subtly implied in these monuments.
This is not the overt Nazi flag-waving of the white nationalists at the University of Virginia. The statues are disguised as “history and heritage.”
However, much of the history of the nation is missing.
Instead of moving these Confederate statues, let’s commission a statue depicting the slave auctions originally held on this spot. Isn’t this what John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan fought to preserve?
We might consider something like Ed Hamilton’s work at Riverfront Park in Louisville, where he added, on the site of his majestic statue of Abraham Lincoln, an emotionally moving bas-relief of a group of slaves chained together. This adds greatly to our understanding of our nation.
There is other history missing: Why not a memorial statue to the 168 victims of lynching in Kentucky from 1877 to 1950?
We all could benefit from more visible reminders of the pain and suffering wrought by Confederate heritage.
Charles L. Baker