Saturday, December 23, 2017

Two Statues Down! Two Statues Up?

In a bit of good news, the City of Memphis' city council sold the former Nathan Bedford Forrest Park and Memphis Park to a not-for-profit in order to circumvent a state law prohibiting the removal of statues of traitors from public land. Then, statues of Forrest and Jefferson Davis were removed. I am especially delighted that the city council used the Republican 'privatization' playbook to accomplish this victory.

Now that the two statues are down, I think that it would be appropriate to replace them with, you got it, two new statues. Nathan Bedford Forrest Park had been renamed to Health Sciences Park, I can think of no better honoree than Dr Daniel Hale Williams, the African-American physician who performed the first open-heart surgery. In Williams, we have a towering figure in the health sciences, and a perfect representation of African-American achievement, something important in a city with a majority black population. Since two statues were removed, a second statue, say of Dr Charles Drew, who was a pioneer in the storage of blood plasma, and an organizer of blood banks, would be appropriate.

Now that the statues of two failed traitors have been removed, how about putting up the statues of two successful doctors?

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