Change fosters inclusion,
won’t erase area history
Changing the names of schools and removing statues will not change history, as so many correspondents have written, but it might change the future. The United States is an inclusive nation, and anything we can do to make everyone feel included is pretty much the right thing to do. No black student should ever have to root for the Lee-Davis Confederates.
Richmond could convincingly have a claim on being the “center of American history.” If you draw a 100-mile radius around Richmond, we have everything from Jamestown to Williamsburg to Yorktown to Washington, D.C., to Charlottesville and Thomas Jefferson. We have George Washington’s canal and “Give me liberty or give me death.” We have the homes of several other presidents and, yes, we have Appomattox and dozens of other battlefields. Throw in horse and auto racing, several world-class museums, plantations, beautiful mountains and rivers, national and state parks, several theme parks and a few beaches, and we are almost unbeatable as a vacation destination.
While slavery and the Civil War will always be part of our history, it should not be the most “glorified” era and some of the excesses need to be rectified.