Lonnie Bunch, President Trump, Marcus Goodwin discussed on PBS NewsHour


Now those complexities of first anew as the nation confronts the continuing racism of today, and the legacy was built upon It's not Lincoln. That's an issue. I'm fine with us memorializing him. He was a monumental president. But it's this depiction. Specifically, that's the issue. Last month, 30 year old Marcus Goodwin, a Washington, D, C. Realestate, business man and now candidate for the D C council climbed atop the memorial. Public contrast to the kneeling man below. He then launched a petition drive to remove and relocate the statue. There's no such thing as a race in the past. My solution is to bring this into a museum, where it could be properly contextualized where a dosage can walking through and tell you the history. In the intentionality behind the art because it doesn't achieve its intended goal. People see it. They see demeaning imagery, and maybe it's a generational divide. But we don't see the type of fair and equitable representation that's inherent in the American dreams if you take down or changed the symbols or the monuments Is that not changing the past in some way? No. In fact, you're changing the future and you're doing it for the better, I would say. Goodwin says he got the idea of relocating the statue after seeing reports of a similar demand in Boston. Home to a replica of the same monument. And in recent days, the Boston Art Commission voted unanimously to take it down without yet deciding where it should go. It's a debate, says Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch with many layers It is about history, but it's about who we are as a nation who we want to be going forward. One of the nation's preeminent historians. Bunch was also founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He told us he is for keeping the Emancipation Memorial but perhaps adding another statue next to it of Frederick Douglass, for example, creating in a sense, more history. What I want to see is a reasoned process that allows us to discuss that allows us to bring history before we make it. Decisions of pulling things that now I think that yes, we could take that statue down. We could replace it with a statue that just talks about the enslaved and I think that what we do is while the one hand we enrich our understanding. On the other hand, I think we lose the opportunity to help people understand Maura about Lincoln and who he was what he did. Bunch thinks these memorials will have to be considered case by case. Local decisions by commissions that move with care but relatively quickly does that surprise you? How kind of deep this is gone. It is surprised me both how deep it's gone and how Rapids is gone with the challenges the statue itself doesn't give us any sense of complexity, nuance of ambiguity, but that's what history does. That may be a lot to ask in America so greatly divided, seemingly not in the mood for complexity and nuance, now fighting over its past and future. One statue at.

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