Attorney for George Floyd family warns rush to remove historical monuments could be a mistake

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The attorney for George Floyd’s family does not agree with the rapid push to take down Confederate monuments around the country, saying that doing so risks repeating our history.

Benjamin Crump said Saturday that Americans should pause, take a breath, and look at the “broad view” of race and other issues before jumping to memory hole an important part of American history.

“I think we have to figure out how to honor people who have done things that are beneficial to society, and if they did things that were not beneficial to society, that we can examine in the lens of having a broad view of what we believe as Americans represents the best attributes of our national identity, then we should look at that,” Crump told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.


(Source: Fox News)

“Whether it should be a situation where, if we keep statues up like that, we tell the history of that individual so people will know the whole story,” he added.

“I’m not sure pulling the statues down is the right thing if we now don’t get the lessons to understand how we can learn from those things, so we don’t repeat those mistakes of the past. You know, they say history — if not studied — we will often repeat it,” Crump concluded.

The Houston-based attorney represents several black families who have lost loved ones at the hands of police officers, though statistics and studies show that what happened in the case of George Floyd is rare.

“This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians,” scholar and researcher Heather Mac Donald wrote earlier this month.

“A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions,” she adds.

In any event, scores of Confederate memorials and monuments have either been torn down by violent mobs or removed by elected officials, mostly throughout the south.

On Friday, protesters toppled a statue of senior Confederate army officer Albert Pike in Washington, D.C., in the latest incident.

As for the attempt to erase history, others have made a similar argument.

Following the removal of a Confederate monument in North Carolina in 2017, Fox News host Laura Ingraham said such actions are “not about racial healing.”

“What else will be subjected to their eradication and denunciation? This is not about racial healing. This is about the control of the narrative and the destruction of historical recognition. That is terrifying. What about books? Will they start burning books too?” Ingraham continued, adding that what’s occurring with Confederate monuments has been repeated throughout history, and around the world when a tyrannical ideology is born.

“This is about controlling a historical narrative, which we see happening all over the world,” she said. “We see it with the Taliban, pulling down Christian historical sites. We’ve seen this in the old Soviet Union. We see this with the Stalinists.”

“When you see bands of criminals, which is what they were [in North Carolina], ripping down public property and being celebrated in the American media for doing so, we have a real problem on our hands,” Ingraham added. “It’s about the eradication of history.”

Some lawmakers agree.

“I don’t think we can go back and erase our history by removing statues,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said earlier this month. “What happens next? Then somebody says you can’t teach about the Civil War or slavery in your textbooks.

“There’s no question that America was an imperfect union when we were founded. We obviously betrayed our own ideals by treating African Americans as less than fully human and we’ve been paying for that original sin ever since then,” Cornyn added. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes as a race, a human race and as an American people, but I think we need to learn from those and not try to ignore them or erase them.

“I don’t agree with going back and trying to rename institutions or pulling down statues or try to tear those pages out of our history books that our kids learn in school,” he said.

Jon Dougherty

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