This is the first time I actually made it a point of writing to a newspaper, local or otherwise, but feel compelled to do so under the circumstances.
My family and I have resided in Fayette County now for almost 10 years; the last two have been spent in Tyrone. We love living here and despite not being originally from the South, neither my wife or I could imagine living anywhere else. We truly appreciate the conservative values and family-oriented environment we’ve found in the town of Tyrone.
This is precisely why, in part, we were so appalled when we learned of this absurd controversy over the mural at Town Hall. We were frankly shocked to learn that the same insidious, disingenuous PC wave sweeping our great country has found a home here in our very own town.
Rarely do I make it a point of citing my ethnicity, but I will to further validate my point here. As a first generation Cuban-American raised in Miami who speaks Spanish fluently, I was offended to learn members of our town council were actually considering doing away with this mural.
Granted, I don’t have a horse in this race, as they say, but I think the implications of this supposed controversy have far-reaching consequences and should concern everyone who resides here. Since when do we seek to change something just because it doesn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy?
Firstly, I don’t see anything at all wrong with the historical depiction featured in the mural. The Confederate flag represents different things to different people, depending on one’s own biases and world view. While I fully respect some folks’ sense of indignation, to others from the South it stands for a way of life, history, and heritage that has nothing to do with slavery or bigotry.
What I do, however, find extremely offensive and problematic is this revisionist trend that seeks to erase or replace any aspect of history that doesn’t jibe with it. The Civil War, Confederate flag, and slavery are all part of the fabric of American history. While there are blemishes that characterize our history, they should serve not to discourage but rather to remind all of us how proud we should be to have overcome all of it.
I would argue we are stronger, more united, and more resilient as a nation because of these experiences. History should not, under any circumstances, be covered up with a curtain simply because it offends. Moreover, a historical depiction isn’t supposed to represent modern-day life, hence the “historical” part.
While we remain perturbed that this issue even rose to this level of consternation, we are delighted to learn that the council voted 3-1 to leave the mural “as is.” I’m especially proud of my neighbor, Gloria Furr, who had the character and gumption to represent the views of so many of us.
Again, as the son of immigrants, I fully support and embrace the notion of diversity but there are limits to everything. Historical accuracy should trump some peoples’ obsession with inclusiveness and diversity. Perhaps they would feel better if our mural had some Hispanics and Asians in it for good measure, maybe even a Pacific Islander for good measure?
As a proud Tyrone resident and conservative, I applaud the council’s decision and would strongly encourage Rep. [Derrick] Jackson to find another “object of oppression.” Elected officials should spend their time more wisely endeavoring to improve the town for ALL its residents.
Alejandro De los Reyes