I thought Berny Belvedere did a nice job of explaining the reason to get serious about removing statues of leaders and generals of the Confederacy. Nothing here changes that but at least an attempt was made to advance an argument so a response is appropriate.
This has nothing to do with Europe, Oxford or anywhere other than this specific country. The reason for that is racism that has been allowed to poison this country for its entire history. The civil war, to use the northern term, was primarily to support the “special institution” of slavery. In the context of two hundred years of suffering and exploitation a very clear end is required. This is, hopefully, the first very clear mark of that change. It is required for that purpose and no other and is not an end but only a possible new beginning.
The prevalence of slavery and blatant racism was common in the 18th century but was already being recognized as predicated in ignorance and immorality. This is identified historically and must be identified in whomever exhibited the symptoms of that disease. But it is obviously inappropriate to deny recognition to people who are remembered primarily for other things more valuable to history. While I would agree with removing Cecil Rhodes statue that is in a different place and is left for other reasons. But this is my point: It is impossible to maintain these images in this country without actively denying the principles of basic equality on which this country was founded and honoring, with a wink and a nod, those that so actively and aggressively worked against them. That is an insult to a large portion of our population. This can no longer be tolerated.