Pastor’s Request About Certain Presidential Landmarks Turns Heads

In the wake of Charlottesville, the debate over Confederate monuments has been reopened. That debate has sparked its own round of questions. One that has sprung to the forefront has yet to be answered succinctly: Where does it end? As the Daily Mail shares, this example that has emanated from Chicago makes that question all the more appropriate.

Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to remove the names of George Washington and Andrew Jackson from two parks in the city.

“When my children and grandchildren walk through these parks and say, 'Grandfather, wasn't he a slave owner?'... how do I explain that and how do I reconcile that with their views of what heroes are?” Dukes explained. “I'm not trying to eradicate history. Let's put history where it belongs so it can be explained and taught properly.”

It’s unclear what is preventing history from being taught properly at the current time. Our nation has a complex history, and there have been plenty of blemishes along the way. While that doesn’t make for the easiest conversation, they’re conversations that need to be had. If we learn from the past, we can advance in the future. That’s what our nation continues to do. Are there some people out there that would prefer not to move forward, and instead move backwards? Certainly, but that’s a fringe element that’s not representative of the nation as a whole.

Dukes is not the only one that feels some closer inspection needs to be given to our nation’s monuments. Actor Leslie Odom Jr., a star of the Broadway musical ‘Hamilton,’ feels the debate simply has to happen.

“What is a statue there for? It's there to inspire us, it's there to teach us, to give us hope. I think that's why we erect them, right? So if we decide as a community that this bronze...commemoration is no longer doing that, if it’s no longer inspiring us, if it's no longer making us feel great about ourselves, and they come down for a while or forever... we're allowed to do that,” he said. “We're even allowed to do that with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. They're not off the table for discussion, I think it's a great question.”

That’s a fair point, but the key remains that the discussion needs to take place. Dukes is pushing for more than that to happen in Chicago, as he thinks that these parks need to be renamed right away.

“I am feeling ambivalent that I would have to walk my child, attend a parade or enjoy a game of softball in a park that commemorates the memory of a slave owner. Therefore, I call on the immediate removal of President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson names from the parks located on the southeast side of Chicago,” he wrote in his letter to Emanuel. “They should not have the distinct honor of being held as heroes when they actively participated in the slave trade.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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