Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History

In this succinct essay, Columbia history professor Eric Foner emphasizes that history “is what the present chooses to remember about the past,” that “forgetting is as essential to public understandings of history as remembering.” For those reasons, Confederate monuments should not remain standing simply because they currently exist in public places. Rather than representing markers of a neutral history, Prof. Foner suggests, they’re symbols of who had the power to decide what we remember. If you like this piece, check out The Highlighter Podcast next Monday at 9:10 am, when loyal subscriber Clare will interview Prof. Foner. It’ll be very good! (5 mins)


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