I had some extra time yesterday so I walked around the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh. The capitol building is surrounded by monuments and memorials and the majority of them are honoring war and warriors. The largest of these monuments is dedicated “To Our Confederate Dead.” I guess we just can’t let go of this whole Confederacy thing.
But why are there so many guns? Why so many warriors? We erect monuments and memorials to people because we think they are worthy of our respect, and we hope that generations who follow will live up to the example they set. So I ask the question, do we really want to continue to honor this type of violence? And I’m asking this question because there are so many other North Carolinians who have done great things without killing other people.
What if we balanced some of the violent images from these monuments with one of the greatest acts of non-violence, an action that started an entire movement? What do you think the chances are of erecting a monument to the Greensboro Four on the grounds of the capitol building? Their actions in Greensboro in 1960 were a key to the start of the Civil Rights Movement. This took place in North Carolina and should be commemorated at the state capitol. The example set by these four men is the kind that I hope more people can live up to. I would much rather have a world full of people fighting for justice than a world of people fighting for power and money.