When we learn about history, we most often learn the shorthand story through the eyes of those who have won the war but not those who have lost the war. After all, to the victor go the spoils.
I have often been asked about the statue since the protesting started on campus last month, and everyone hears the same response from me: It is merely a statue. I bear no malice toward the statue as most of my African-American kith do. I do not see it as a centerpiece for racism, but as a conversation starter about the dark history behind the school. It can be used to see how far the University of Mississippi has come since that time. I look at the statue in a perspective that most fail to see. It is something to learn from and not be held back by.
The Confederate statue can be used as a way to learn a bit more on about how others felt on the losing side even if they are not here to tell their story. Do not misinterpret this though; I do not support slavery or racism. I support learning about a past and using it as a way to understand that you cannot mask a dark history by pretending it didn’t happen. But you may use it as a way to rise up and become a better person, community and even university.
It does not matter if you keep the statue where it is or place it elsewhere. It is merely a story from the losing side that some of us have to accept.
Alexus Smith is a political science major from Jackson.