Keep the Confederate statues standing

Mike Hill


Pensacola Beach

A petition drive has started to remove the Confederate Memorial in Pensacola’s Lee Square. I will not take the time to detail the history of the memorial which was erected in 1891 with private dollars.

The reader should do that with a quick Internet search. That’s the problem with this insane drive to remove Confederate statues from across our nation — ignorance of history.

I am an American who happens to be black. I am not an African American. This is my country. The terms African American, Hispanic American, Asian American and other such phrases were largely unheard of before the late 1980s. As a nation, we must get away from this relatively recent agenda of dividing our country into different ethnic camps. We are one nation under God.

The insidiousness of these dual distinctions gives the impression to too many people that the United States is not really their nation and that their real deep seated allegiance actually belongs elsewhere. This leads to too many people acting like they have no ownership in this great nation. It’s similar to how renters act compared to how owners behave. By using these terms, the pride of ownership is not there when it comes to the thinking about the United States, its history and its heritage. This makes it easier to disrespect our culture, our flag, and our history. It also makes it easier to accept dependence from the state.

We need to reject such nonsense. We need to be proud to be Americans. This is a nation upon which God has abundantly shed His grace.

America is an amazing nation full of opportunity and potential for those who seize it. As Tom G. Palmer wrote in “The Morality of Capitalism,” the framework for America’s greatness comes from a Constitution that limits our government, individual rights, equal treatment under the law, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. This is a recipe for what has made this such a great nation. Of course, parts of our past are flawed (because flawed people were involved) but we learn from our history and our mistakes. We should not try to hide from it and tear it down.

Tearing down a statue is barbaric, a brutish act that belies a civilized people. Nobody’s lives are improved by tearing down statues. A new job does not suddenly appear. Children do not start performing better in school and those are measurable metrics.

There are some who insist they will feel better if the statues are removed. But will they? How do they know that? Why should the public pay for them to feel better? It’s clear taxpayers will have to pay to remove a statue that private donors erected.

Let us put a stop to this rush to divide our great nation. We are a land of tremendous opportunity. In the United States, individuals have before them an incredible future. My father proudly served as an enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force. I graduated from the Air Force Academy. My father worked for a Fortune 500 company. I started my own successful company from scratch.

I am not unique. There are countless success stories of hard working Americans overcoming the obstacles that happen in life and leaving things better for their children. Determining your successful, amazing future is within your grasp. Carpe diem!

Mike Hill served as a Republican representing parts of the Panhandle in the Florida House from 2013-2016.