should racist monuments be removed? yes. the answer is yes. || a speech I did for school

I had to give a speech for school last week and since I’m running out of blogging ideas I’m going to post it here. Enjoy.

Also there are definitely mistakes bc I didn’t have to turn in a paper copy of anything so.

I would’ve said much more but I only had five minutes whakkbfsjk


“When I first moved here… I thought these statues were ridiculous. Why build a street for losers?” This quote is from Tommley Finley, a 70 year old Black America. Racist monuments should be removed because of their history, their reinforcement of white supremacy, and to restore American integrity.

Stone Mountain, the most iconic monument in Georgian history, is steeped in darkness. Helen Plane, member of a group honoring Confederate leaders, proposed the idea for the carving. A Birth of a Nation, a movie glorifying the Confederacy, inspired a group of men to reignite the KKK. They had a grand old time terrorizing people of color before World War 2 interrupted them. After the war, they climbed Stone Mountain and burned a 300ft cross to, quote, “let them know the war is over and the Klan is back!” (paraphrased) This mountain, widely associated with hate, made it into Dr King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, where he said, “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!” In 2017, a petition came up for a monument honoring Dr King. Upon hearing this plan, a group of neo-Confederates —a group of people clinging to Confederate ideals— marched up the mountain, laden with guns and Confederate flags. “forget Civil Rights, this is a Civil War mountain!” (paraphrased) Governor Nathan Deal dropped the idea entirely, giving in to the protests. Stone Mountain, and all monuments celebrating the mistreatment of people of color, should be removed.

Monuments linked to racist figures stand for values of hate, discrimination, and perceived superiority. Such monuments enforce the “rightness” of the Confederate cause. The Confederacy and the KKK were born of hatred, and so were their shrines. Civil War monuments do not celebrate the freedom of slaves, but for those who fought against it. Some speculate that the removal of monuments would lead to the erasure of history, but they do not realize that the mere existence of these statues suffocate centuries. They bring white history to the top, squashing all minority history beneath them. Would removing them “rewrite history”? I believe not. What I do believe qualifies as “rewriting history” is forgetting this nation was stolen from Native Americans. That slaves powered its economy. That police hate crimes are swept under the rug. That the KKK still moves today. “Monuments don’t teach history… instead, monuments are about values.” “Memorials should exist for evil’s victims, not for evil’s perpetrators.” Removing these monuments wouldn’t make those problems go away— but it would show that America has begun to acknowledge its flaws. 

Why does it matter? Integrity. “Government should remove racist statues and monuments to prove they reject past ideologies.” Instead of reforming and admitting their sins, America still clings to its “idol”: pride. “A country cannot begin to cleanse itself of evil while maintaining shrines to those who committed it.” How could a repentant nation continue to worship the idols of their past? “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.” Taking down racist monuments would be a step in ridding its heart of evil. 

Some argue, “Where does it end?? You’ll have to get rid of everything!” If they promote the dehumanization of people of color, then yes. Get rid of them. If you think art is more important than the dignity of human beings, then you’re wrong. There’s no question. Basic human respect is more important than objects.

 “And what about the founding fathers?! They owned slaves!!” I found this quote from a Harvard article that explains it well. “No one puts a monument up to Washington or Jefferson to promote slavery. The monuments go up because, without Washington, there likely would not have been an American nation.” The difference is the motive. A letter from Helen Plane proves her motives behind the Stone Mountain carving. She said, “I feel it is due to the Klan, which saved us from Black dominations and carpetbag rule, that it be immortalized on Stone Mountain. Why not represent a small group of them approaching in the distance.” (paraphrased) As I said, removing controversial monuments would not rewrite history— it would prove a nation’s integrity.

What can the government do? Plan (and follow through with) the removal of harmful monuments and statues. Rename cities and streets. Work towards equality in everyday life. It’s not enough to only remove monuments— it’s just a step in dismantling white supremacy. What can young people do? Listen to and respect POC’s opinions. Educate themselves. Research how to vote towards monument removal 

Racist monuments should be removed because of their plethora of hateful history, their role in white supremacy, and to reinstall American integrity.

“Americans look for heroes, sometimes more than the truth. And as these statues show, we’re very good at mythmaking.”

Thank you for your time.


ALSO THIS VIDEO CAME OUT TODAY I HAD TO ADD IT HERE:

a teensy rant

I know it all comes down to sexism and objectification but I don’t get how a man can go around in a speedo and no one cares but if a woman wears a bikini they’re seen as “immodest”

there was this guy who ran around my neighborhood/area and he wore nothing but booty shorts. no one cared. but I was always brought up to not wear shorts too short and always wear layers and don’t even dare to show my shoulders. guys can go swimming in the equivalent of their underwear, but if I did it? I was immodest. I’ve never worn a bikini, because I never felt comfortable, but also I was taught, “what if you were at *enter a girl my parents considered as “lesser” or something* house, and she wanted to go swimming, and she gave you a bikini. what would you do?” dutiful me said “i wouldn’t wear it.”

but why? a bikini is the swimming equivalent of my underwear.

the exact same thing men wear.

I legitimately don’t get the double standard. it’s logical to say “they can wear the same thing.”

I remember a woman, at the store, and she wore a shirt that looked exactly like a bra. my mother was shocked.

but then we go to the park and we see a man without a shirt.

no reaction.

we can’t wear crop tops or shorts or tank tops

dress codes are paragraphs long, compared to the two lines for the men.

you sometimes can’t even find the mens’. the womens’ overshadows it.

even body hair is “inappropriate.”

people can’t know we grow hair.

you can’t wear eyeliner or eyeshadow or bright lipsticks

but if you don’t?

wrong.

you cannot be a woman, but you cannot not be a woman.

you can’t wear pants that’re too tight. you can’t wear “masculine clothes”.

but if you wear “feminine clothes” then you’re a bimbo, you’re basic, you’re a “girl” (used in the worst way possible).

there’s a strict, strict box children are shoved in. a prison.

a cage of femininity.

i remember hiding an incredibles book from my mom because I was scared of being seen reading a “boy” book. irrationally, I might add.

when I got older I rejected anything “girly”.

I definitely had a “not like other girls” phase.

I’ve gotten over that, mostly. I’m not sure where I am now.

you’re told to find the “limbo” between “masculine” and “feminine”

but there isn’t one, really. as a woman, you’re told not to be a woman.

but you can’t be a man either.

you can’t wear suits or pants or ties or even have short hair.

or you’re just trying to be a man.

there is no solution.

it’s one of those math problems you spend hours on, only to find there’s no answer.

even the other day, I was trying to find a comfortable outfit for school. i’m giving a speech, and I need “dressy” clothes. but I, personally, do not like wearing dresses. I do, sometimes, and I have many good dresses that I love. but I really didn’t want to wear a dress. so I chose dress pants, a button up shirt, and a vest. (because heck yeah, vests are cool!)

but then my little brother said “you look like a guy! I’ve never seen girls wear clothes like that.”

I told him they are, in fact, girl’s clothes, because I, a girl, am wearing them.

my mom simply said, “she doesn’t like dressing like other girls.”

both of their statements hurt me.

I can wear what I like. But that doesn’t mean I’m trying to be a man. But that doesn’t mean I’m not like other girls.

am like other girls.

We are all tired of society’s belief that men can exist as people, but women can’t.

note: I wrote this and posted it in one sitting so some things might be unclear sooo sorry but I’m low-key upset now that I’m thinking about it.

I’m not even out of high school and I’m sick of the world.