But it’s not all about economics. I think empowerment is just as important, as is striving for a society where there aren’t constant reminders of a tragic racist past that continues to inform our present. And those actions and words from 80 years ago still resonate today, as do the values those men commemorated by the Confederate statues fought to uphold. So yes, I think bringing them down is important. I do not think we should underestimate the benefits of symbolic change just because it may not directly create wealth or jobs for Black people. The benefits of young children growing up without these images won’t be immediate, but they will come. We have to be prepared to play the long game.

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