Strengths, Weaknesses Should Be Recognized

To The Reader’s Forum:

Following the controversy over the removal of a statue of General Lee, there has been a call by some New York City politicians to remove a statute of Christopher Columbus because of his involvement in the slave trade. What monument will be next?

If we remove all monuments to every leader with serious faults, we will successfully remove almost all reminders of our history. Indeed, none of the great leaders of the past were “perfect,” except for one, and he was crucified by the leaders of his time.

Moses killed a man and fled to avoid prosecution. King David had an affair with a married women and arranged for the death of her husband.

In more recent times, President Washington owned slaves and raised tobacco. President Jefferson had a child with a slave. Churchill was an alcoholic. JFK had an affair. President Nixon was involved in a criminal cover-up. President Clinton had sex with an intern.

Rather than pursue a politically correct cleansing of historical monuments, perhaps we should recognize both the strengths and the shortcomings of these leaders as we reflect on their important role in history.

Best regards,

Andrew Goodell