Dear City Council,
I continue to read how other cities are handling their reconciliation between the intention that the founding of our Country would let freedom reign while at the same time also enslaving and torturing People.
NYC decides to remove Dr. J. Marion Sims statue while the school board in Hampton Roads, Virginia removes the name Lee from a school building.
I had an epiphany while I was packing up our holiday decorations. OK, I'm not going to lie, I am actually *still* putting up our holiday decorations so this epiphany came after I spoke at the city council meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
It relates to a beautiful snow globe my sister gave us in the early years when we moved to Charleston. It plays the Charleston song and it has many landmarks of the Holy City. St. Michael's, St. Phillip's, City Hall, Rainbow Row and…the Calhoun Statue. I was packing up this snow globe when it hit me.
There is another statue near the four corners (I don't know who that statue is of) that is depicted in the snow globe and it is closer to the ground. Most other statues in Charleston are closer to the ground.
So here are my updated thoughts on the matter of John C Calhoun statue plaque. Plaque with historical context, good start. Comprehensive plan for statue placement considering location prominence developed over time perhaps in conjunction with the International African American Museum, even better.
Please move forward with the short-term goal of approving a plaque and a long-term goal of evaluating the placement (and even more importantly in my opinion, the height) of this statue.
Because honestly, if we are to elevate anyone in the history of South Carolina related to Freedom and Slavery and put them on a pedestal in the center of our city, I would choose Harriet Tubman who helped coordinate and emancipate over 700 enslaved men, women and children in the largest single event in the history of South Carolina.
Please know that your deliberations and vote matter because it sends a message about what we value individually and collectively. Like Harriet Tubman and St. Clare of Assisi, I value the divine birthright of all human beings to their own sove-reignty.