Written By Gregory Meriweather
To erect a monument…what does it all mean? Some monuments are built to recognize a victory. Many are meant to recognize great leaders. Then some are meant to recognize people who greatly impacted history (good or bad). The question that remains in my mind is, when is the right time to build a monument?
In America there are many statues. Unfortunately, America has yet to come to terms with the fact that most of those monuments/statues resemble harsh truths about the cruel things America has done to become the country that she is today.
Monuments are strategically placed. If I am at the Staples Center in L.A., I know that I am going to see the heroes of the Los Angeles Lakers. If I am in Chicago, I am going to see the “house that Michael built.” Yet, what I am realizing about most monuments, is that they are not built or even considered until the victory is won.
America looks at the Civil War, truly, as a family feud. Therefore, you see Confederate statues. These people were not considered failures or losers. These people were considered Americans who stood up for their rights, like Americans are supposed to do. The fabric of this country is supposedly built on people who will bravely fight for their rights.
Something in America is still not ready to call this a family feud when Black people are involved. The American Descendants of Slaves are still not acknowledged as Americans. We are still acknowledged as the people who were brought here as savages, and anything less than human. Which leads me to ask the question again, when is it time to erect a monument? All over the country, we are seeing the phrase “black lives matter.” In some places, the words are simply spray painted on a wall. In other places, it is some of the best graffiti we have ever seen. Some cities have literally given people the permission to paint the streets with those three powerful words, yet the question remains, is the timing right?
Exclaiming “black lives matter” gives the perception that a victory is claimed during a pivotal part of a war. This is a strategy used by the enemy, to cause distraction at a time where policies and procedures in this country must be investigated, ratified, or abolished. But instead, the illusion of victory has been given because the enemy is aware that the people they are fighting against are not capable of determining when victory has been achieved. When you have never had it, sometimes the illusion seems to be reality.
In the rules of war, we must understand that false victories have always been utilized to cause the enemy to become complacent. Muhammad Ali used this tactic when fighting against George Foreman. This was called the rope-a-dope style. In essence, Ali would lay against the ropes as if he were a tired, and defeated opponent. From the outside looking in, it seemed like Foreman was having his way with Ali. Yet, the truth was, Ali was wearing him down while preserving his energy for the final blow. If you have never seen the fight, just know that Ali knocked out George Foreman, and went on to victory.
The government is using the same tactics today. Why would they allow you to put a symbol of victory on a street that they would not even allow you to live on? Furthermore, if you know that you are fighting for something other than a monument, why not just fight the battle, and let the people after you, build the monument? Isn’t that normally how it goes? Because right now, the enemy knows that if the premature monuments are destroyed or defaced, that the focus is now shifted to the monument/mural, as opposed to the real issues. We must not lose focus.
Statues, and symbols are great accolades of the works which have been done by so many, but very few live to ever see the impact of their works, or the recognition that comes from their efforts. Press forward in your efforts. Win the battle, then celebrate the success. Do not stop until the white flag is thrown, and the enemy has dropped their weapons. It is only then, that you can claim the victory.