LETTER: Removing monuments can remove the nation’s stains

To the editor:

Our United States of America should be just that…united. Otherwise, we may just need to rename it.

America, as it stands now, is blemished by the ugly stains of ignorance, hate, intolerance and racism that continue to plague our country in ways that make us look less and less like the great nation we claim to be. Those stains are awful and they truly stink!

How did we get those stains? So glad you asked. When certain groups of people feel entitled to everything and superior to everyone simply because they lack pigment in their skin, they begin to see other people as inferior and unimportant, then bad things begin to happen. People speak without thinking, laws are broken, and violence erupts. People begin to believe that they are the only ones who should have a voice and a place here in this country.

Newsflash: This country belongs to everyone. No one group of people built this country. Immigrants from all over this world have come here, worked tirelessly, and have contributed immensely in making America the superpower it is today. Indians (who were mercilessly killed or forced off of what was their land in the first place), African-Americans (who were viciously captured and thrown into slavery), Jews (who were slaughtered in concentration camps), Hispanics, Chinese (the list goes on and on), all have their fingerprints, footprints and heartprints on this land.

Such diversity makes me fondly think of America as a warm, beautiful, humongous quilt that needed all races, religions, nationalities, cultures, and to proudly infuse their contributions in making America great. No one person or race has or ever can make it great. The greatness is achieved through treating all people as you would want to be treated and accepting each other’s differences. It will be achieved by learning tolerance and humility.

Now, with that being said, I wholeheartedly agree with our fine governor, Mr. Roy Cooper, in advocating the removal of Confederate statues and Confederate monuments in our local towns, cities and state. It makes all the sense in the world to relocate them to places that can better reflect their history. Much more importantly, to millions of people like myself, it would send a message that we will work on removing the stains and the stench that hate has caused — one monument at a time. We want everyone here in America to feel that they belong — because they do.

Charlette Rhue Bennett