Due to recent events and the tragedy of a woman by the name of Heather Meyers that was murdered standing up to Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., the confederate monuments — to some a symbol of southern pride, to others racists’ relics of the past — have been thrust into the spotlight.
In Gonzales, Texas, our minority community has to live with a statue of a man that fought to keep the men, woman and children of the African community enslaved. 750,000 men died during the Civil War, more than the 400,000 that died defeating the Nazis in World War 2. At a time when white supremacists and Nazis are holding rallies trying to divide our communities, we should not give them what they want but instead ask for a compromise. We don’t ask for their monuments to be removed, but will ask for a monument of freedom in the form of Abraham Lincoln, a man who fought to abolish slavery, a true American hero that lost his life for what was right, a man who actually won the war and kept our country united.
I met with the mayor, chief of police and councilman of district 4 on this issue Aug. 24 and pitched this idea of a compromise to them. Our mayor stated a committee would be formed on this issue. That statue was dedicated by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1901 and the citizens of Gonzales pay for its maintenance with their tax dollars. I find it ironic that black citizens of our community have to pay for the expenses to maintain a statue of a man that fought to keep them enslaved. That’s like asking a Jewish man to pay to keep a statue of Hitler maintained. I don’t know any other business in Gonzales that gets a free service from the city on the taxpayers’ dime.
If we can afford a $3,000 drone, a $43,000 study to find out why there’s fecal matter in the water, a $50,000 payout to get rid of the last city manager, I believe we can afford a compromise for our community.