Use revenue from statues to ‘ease some of the disparity in this city’

8/25/2017, 7:34 p.m.

As the son of a Black Panther, I may be the most pro-black person you’ll meet. That being said, the statues on Monument Avenue should remain in place.

As the former capital of the Confederacy, the City of Richmond has a history that no other city in this country does.

Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s Monument Avenue Commission needs to be disbanded immediately. Anyone who witnessed the public meeting at the Virginia Historical Society would tell you that these people don’t have a clue and led a meeting that was highly racially intense. Further dialogue of this manner will only add to the racial divide in this city.

I have seen the racially contentious opposition to the recent African-American statues that have gone up — Arthur Ashe’s statue and Maggie Walker’s statue — so why would I want to take down those that have been here longer than any of us here?

This is a city filled with Civil War monuments. Will all of them come down? Does Jeff Davis Highway or J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School, which I attended, get a name change? Where will it end?

I think the statues should stay because they should serve as a reminder to us of the racial and economic divide that rules this city. Taking them down won’t change anything. That divide was created by these people and the blood of their ideals that still permeates the soil.

Our children should learn the history of the city that they live in, leaving nothing out. “Context” should be added to the monuments that will enhance their attraction.

Instead of taxpayer money being wasted on a very costly endeavor of removing the statues, I’d like to see them become a real tourist attraction that we can capitalize on. Bill Richmond as the “City of Monuments” and create a  revenue stream off of it that can be used to try to ease some of the disparity in this city.