Your View: Removing Confederate references will only reopen old wounds

Your View: Removing Confederate references will only reopen old wounds

By Jimm Roberts, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
I am aghast. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the movement to change street names and get rid of the Appomattox statue would last this long.

Surely reasonable people acting reasonably will find other more urgent and impactful issues to address. It’s not as if we don’t have enough genuine today-problems that we have to dredge up a yesterday-problem to agonize over.

This yesterday-problem started out because someone thought it hurtful to the sensibilities of some that our city — on the wrong side of right 150 years ago — was unduly recognizing this historical fact with a single statue and with some street names.

Good grief! Moving a statue or expunging fine names that were once shared by some Confederate generals from street signs does not change history. What it will do is open a Pandora’s box that can never be closed.

And, I fear, it will exacerbate racial tensions rather than dissipate them. This will create a countermovement to rename T.C. Williams because it honors a segregationist, which, in turn, will trigger demands that all written references in Alexandra to across the Potomac, former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry be expunged because he served time in prison.

This will surely result in some extremist demanding George Washington be removed from the dollar bill because he was a slave owner, and on and on, making new wounds where none existed. It is time to move forward, not backward.