I am out of town this week, but I thought it was important that I share my thoughts about the horrific events in Charlottesville and the decisions we must make about the confederate statues on Monument Avenue.
It was hard for me to focus this week looking at the images on TV of terror, racism, hate and ultimately the death of a young woman and the related deaths of two Virginia State Troopers.
My wife and I left New York for Virginia 27 years ago to make Virginia my home and to raise my two daughters. What I have seen over these 27 years is a great deal of change. I have seen a change in attitudes, a change in perspective and a change in diversity. I love this city, this region and this state. This is my home.
I realize that history is not just about the past, but history is being made every day and we must take responsibility for that history. I despise the hate that was expressed by the Neo-Nazis, the KKK and the White Supremacists. But they remind us all that hate is always present looking for a reason to express itself.
They reminded us that some people cannot accept that the world has changed around them and that it will continue to change.
I also realize that silence is not an option. Good people cannot be silent while the tyrants make all of the noise.
Monuments not only represent the past, but they represent our future and who we say we are and who we aspire to be. As we contemplate what to do about the statues on Monument Avenue, we must take the time to live in someone else’s experience. We must then decide if we want to be known as a city that salutes the pain of the past or the aspirations of the future.
Silence is not an option. Your voice must be a part of this history.