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In the article ‘Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror’ (2015), originally published in The New York Times, writer Brent Staples argues that recent events such as the 2015 Charleston church shooting and the dismissal of the Confederate monuments around the country have finally allowed politicians to come to the deduction that these Confederate symbols and anything related to them, represent nothing but racism and hate. He also stated that this dates back to the end of the Reconstruction when the Whites tried their best to stop all of the blacks’ recently-received freedoms. Staples concludes that to cleanse the country of its past, we must get rid of what’s left of it. In order to stabilize this country and ease racial tensions, we need to erase any presence of the past completely.

Personally, I believe that the removal of these statues is an extreme benefit for this country, but not everyone will agree, especially those who don’t support the removal. As a citizen of this country, I believe that these symbols have to go, and it has to be soon if we want to be a country of one people. In the wake of the Charleston church shooting in 2015, the topic of removing Confederate monuments and symbols became a country-wide discussion. In the same year, there were riots in Virginia, that had started due to an argument about whether or not a Confederate monument should be removed or not. From what Staples wrote, he made it seem as if it was going to be easy to remove these monuments. But it doesn’t not.

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We live in a time when race is still a major topic. Even though it’s the 21st century we still have people who are filled with hate against another man just because of his skin color or his ethnicity. Staples uses the incident in Charleston to spark a discussion about these monuments and instills that these monuments are the reason we still have racism and hate in this country. Staples supports this argument by stating, “This barbaric act made it impossible for politicians to hide from the fact that the Confederate banner has been a rallying symbol embraced by racists, night riders, and white supremacists’ groups dating back to the 19th century” (p.253). Staples believes that without the removal of these monuments, this country will never change. Many tend to agree. We need to leave the past where it belonged. Staples even proposed removing statues and busts of Confederate generals and changing the names of parks and streets. He goes on to say: “The Memphis City Council expunged Confederate names from three parks, one of them named in honor of Forrest” (p.254).

This may not be the typical speed at which these changes should be made, but they are getting done. But it will be a difficult path to extinguish this country’s terrible and dreadful past.

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Argumentative Essay on Why Confederate Monuments Should Be Removed.
(2023, October 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 17, 2023, from

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