Taking down the memorial to Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, resulted in at least one death and 12 injuries. So, in effect, the attempt to remove this remembrance of past conflict in our country has added greater misery and emotional strain 150 years after the end of the Civil War. Rather ironically, removing memorials to those who fought for morally incorrect causes is creating more racial disharmony, not less.

Instead of taking down statues to leaders who represent causes now distasteful in the 21st century, why don’t we include historical leaders we find worthy role models instead? Perhaps Charlottesville might erect a statue to the African-American Union soldiers who risked their lives to sustain freedom. Perhaps Virginia should dedicate a capitol memorial to Booker T. Washington, born in Virginia in a one-room slave cabin.

Similarly, why can’t the city of Pensacola invite Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Wicca, Gnosis, Zen/Tao, Sufism, Sikhism, Shamanism, Metaphysical/New Thought and other religions to erect monuments of their faith traditions in the park in question rather than remove the Christian cross that upsets a few people? I assume the angry advocates wanting the cross removed perceive exclusion of their worldview, although there is a sizable minority today who incite community disharmony in an attempt to mislead life.

We simply must be mature enough to include less-traditional worldviews with respect rather than disdain. Exclusion leads to violence, such as what happened in Charlottesville. Respectfully including, but not necessarily endorsing, alternative perspectives creates a more harmonious society. Let’s think inclusion.

Ronald Francis David Hunt,