Photo credit: Fabian Matthews

Photo credit: Fabian Matthews

Last night, Memphis City Council voted unanimously for the immediate removal of the Confederate statues of Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest from Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park. The removal has been a hot topic in the city for most of the year. The city couldn't simply remove the statues. That order had to come directly from Nashville. So a loophole was found. The parks were sold to a private entity, Memphis Greenspace, and the statues were immediately removed last night. 

That's a quick brief summary. I feel this is a historic moment in the city's checkered past. Do I feel the statues removal was the most pressing issue at the moment? Do I feel this will make crime or racism suddenly end? Heck no, but it's a step in the right direction. It shows that our city is looking towards the future and not holding on to the past. Some feel their history is being taken away from them. I ask those people, "Do you really need a statue to remember your history?" Probably not. I am a lover of history. It definitely has value but it's also reminds us of what we have to do to never repeat it and progress. 

All Southern history isn't bad. Our Southern ideals are still intact. The statues being removed won't take away the fact that we have freaking sweet tea, we don't have those crazy snow storms like out Northerner friends, we believe in speaking to every person we pass on the streets, we believe in helping each other, we have amazing music, we have the best food in the country, and we are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. 

Those statues represented some of our worst times. It's time to move on and let go. It's like holding on to a bad relationship. We know it's not good for us, but just can't get over her. We can still have our Southern Pride without those statues. Again, this isn't going to bring about some miraculous change in the city, but its a very small step towards equality and justice. 

I would like to thank all those who were involved in this polarizing process. From the person with the original thought all the way up to the Mayor of Memphis. It takes a lot of courage to spark change. I personally would like to thank Tami Sawyer for all her work on this issue. I see ya boo. Your efforts haven't gone unnoticed. Now let's make sure our future is brighter than our past! 

In the words of Memphis legend, Playa Fly, "All that I know is that it's not dark as it was yesterday." 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

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