Asbury Park needs to focus on what’s important, not tearing down statues
Enough is enough. Another statue under fire from a group claiming to fight for 'social justice'.
According to an article I read this morning in the Asbury Park Press, Randy Thompson, who is the founder of "Help Not Handcuffs" is trying to have a statue removed from Bradley Park. The statue was put up in 1921 in order to honor the founder of Asbury Park, James Bradley. According to the opposition, he was a segregationist and the statue should go. The good news for common sense is not everyone in town is on board.
According to the same article, Reverend Gil Caldwell has reservations about it's removal. He's a guy who speaks from authority and experience when it comes to racial issues as he marches with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here's the quote from Rev. Caldwell:
"My great fear about removing statues is it can lead to the narrative that we’ve become post-racist, or post-racial in America," Caldwell said. "Moving a statue won’t get at the deeper issues of race and racism that are much deeper than we imagine in this community. It’s a conversation starter, but we’ve got to have hard, candid and open conversations on what is and what is not in Asbury Park."
The bottom line is that the media will likely ignore the common sense and heartfelt concern from civil rights leaders like Rev. Caldwell. It simply doesn't fit the narrative of the "tear-down" culture being fostered today.
The reverend is right. Tearing down the monument doesn't help continue a conversation about race relations. More importantly, tearing down a statute because you think you should be offended by the actions of a person in history is absurd. The conversations started by parents and kids as well as teachers and students around statutes like this actually hold value in our society.
I know that Asbury Park has come a long way from the crime stats and poverty from decades ago, but the numbers don't lie and the city has a long way to go.
Focus your outrage on things that are actually hurting people. Enough of the tearing down of statues that don't hurt anyone and distract focus from real issues.
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