Letter: If we care about history, let’s write our own, lead

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020

History is important. Remembering the good and the bad, the sacrifices and the strides forward society has made is important. Knowing when to take your eyes off the past and realize that we are writing history right now is even more important.

There are moments in time where people can make choices that affect how history plays out by choosing who they are, who they want their community to be and how they want their world to be. Right now is that time. Right here.

Salisbury has grown and developed into a community I’m proud of, but we have one glaring smudge right in the middle of our town that says we are holding on to ideas that should be extinct: the “Fame” statue. Move it to a museum where it has some context and doesn’t cause such disruption to our community or commission an artist to make a statue in that fancy new park being built next door commemorating the struggle of and the success of our black community. That’s our history, too.

Grant me a small square of private property downtown to erect a statue like we did for an organization that glorified and publicly supported the Ku Klux Klan a hundred years ago. I’ll be happy to raise the money and will be the first to contribute because I want everyone to know when they come to my town that they are safe and our beliefs run deeper than shallow platitudes.

If it’s history we care about, let’s write our own right now by being leaders.

— Sara Bartlett