Many white Americans have trouble understanding the problem with historic statues. My story may help to put this controversy in perspective.
In 1968 I arrived in a college town in Missouri. Ten years before my arrival, the otherwise kind citizens of the area had voted to use funds set aside for a municipal pool to instead erect a bronze statue of a dog at the entrance to the county courthouse.
Why would they do that, you might ask? The sad answer is they had been told Black people would have to be allowed to use the pool. For the last 60 years every Black person who has entered the county courthouse hoping for justice must pass by this statue of a dog which symbolized the hatred of the people in power.
Today, if the cry came to tear down this statue, and I hope they do, people might wonder why someone would want to tear down the statue of a beloved dog.