Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tearing Down To Move Forward

Change is good and New Orleans is taking steps toward a more positive future by tearing down four prominent Confederate statues honoring white supremacists. The first statue, an obelisk honoring members of the Crescent City White League who killed the members of the city's post-Civil War integrated police force, was removed yesterday, April 24th, 2017.

In the next few days, statues commemorating Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard as well as Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy will possibly be moved to a museum although their final destination has yet to be determined.

A few months back I wrote a post about my visit to Beauvoir, the former home of Jefferson Davis which is now a National Historic Landmark and museum. Davis's wife left the homestead to the Sons of the Confederacy so it's not government-owned property. However, when the original home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, they were granted federal funding from FEMA and given donations to rebuild while thousands in Mississippi were left homeless. If you read my post, I think you'll be able to surmise that I would have preferred they let it crumble to the ground and maybe even replace that memorial to our country's hateful past with something that can instill hope and positivity in people. 

There are still an estimated 700 Confederate statues or monuments installed in public places throughout the United States. How about we follow New Orleans's lead and tear them down. Why not support local artists by commissioning new street art and replace them with statues of historical figures who brought about positive change in this country like Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks? 

A great example of a city that is supporting art with positive messages is New York. The "Fearless Girl" statue was installed facing the famous Wall Street Bull statue on March 7, 2017-the day before International Women's Day. The statue which was created by Kristen Visbal was only meant to be a temporary installation but there was such an outpouring of positive support for the "Fearless Girl" that its permit was extended from one month to a full year. 

We can't erase the past and people will certainly not forget but we can determine how we act in the present and moving into the future. I personally would prefer that the future be filled with art that makes me feel happy.

Friday, April 14, 2017

United Airlines in the news again!

In case you haven't watched the news or youtube or gone on social media or spoken to another human in the past week, United Airlines is the topic of conversation again and not for a good reason. They forcefully dragged a 69-year-old man named Dr. David Dao off of one of their flights because they needed the seat for one of their crew members. He was a paying customer who was already seated on the plane and did not want to voluntarily give up his seat so they had airport security violently remove him from the plane. I'm not happy that this happened to this man but I'm not at all surprised (and maybe feeling a bit smug) after my personal experience with flying United. You can read my post about it here: United Airlines

My experience with this airline was abysmal from start to finish. Every single department had horrible customer service to the point where it seems that they train their employees to be purposefully rude and obnoxious to their customers.

I choose to no longer give them my money and will fly with other airlines even if they are the cheaper option. In two weeks I'll be flying to New York on Delta which I've had my gripes with in the past but they've really made the effort to turn things around and become a decent airline. After flying around the world several times on more airlines than I can count, I can say with absolute certainty that United is the worst of the worst and I'm pretty sure Dr. Dao would agree with me.

United passenger dragged from plane has concussion, broken nose: lawyer | Reuters 

United faces more questions as dragged passenger hires high-powered attorney - Chicago Tribune