Statues are being toppled around the country as one of the forms of protest of racism in America.
The protests, triggered by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, includes objection to our racist history, including flags, symbols and statues of those who promoted racism or defended slavery.
It's a healthy process to re-evaluate our flags, symbols and heroes from time to time. What may have seemed perfectly normal a century or more ago may not be appropriate in today's evolved world.
Remember, it was only 100 years ago that women were allowed to vote in the United States. To those of us in 2020, the idea that women couldn't vote before that seems preposterous.
For racism, it's taking a lot longer. The Civil War was fought and the Emancipation Proclamation was issued more than 150 years ago, but we still haven't eradicated discrimination based on race.
To change or eliminate flags, slogans, logos, symbols, college athletic team names, or other symbols of discrimination makes sense. Just because it was appropriate at one time doesn't make it appropriate forever.
We do have one caveat: don't look for perfection. There have been many great people in our nation's history who deserve to be honored. Being humans, none of them were flawless. If we seek to honor only the perfect, there will be none.
Therefore, our national debate needs to decide the balance between the virtues and vices of those who have contributed to the greater good. In 2020, to help eliminate racism, we need to weigh much more prominently any association with slavery or abject racism.
To help resolve today's national crisis, it's important that we take visible action to demonstrate our commitment to eliminating racism. Re-evaluating symbols of all sorts is very important to that effort.
-- Jon M. Hunter