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LETTER

Removal of school mural of Lincoln-Davis a mistake

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Autumn DeMartino

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The removal of the painting of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis from outside the Camden County High School library was a mistake. This action promotes censorship and denial of the past. The painting in no way symbolizes or supports slavery and oppression. At face value, it serves as a recording of history.

Yes, the Civil War happened. It is a part of history and there is no changing that. While this period contains some truly awful events, it should not be ignored because there is much we should have learned from it. Perhaps the greatest lesson is the power of division. Division sought to destroy America over a century ago. Apparently, this country hasn’t paid attention in history class because division is once again threatening to rip us apart.

If you note the process behind the painting’s creation, however, you will see why it is so important that it should remain in sight. It was a collaboration of two schools states apart: one in the North and the other in the South, if you want to be technical. Students of any number of ethnicities and backgrounds came together despite distance to create this work of art. At a deeper level, the painting symbolized our ability to work side by side with one another despite differences (which happens to be something our government can’t seem to do). It is this kind of thinking that brings people together and moves them forward. I believe both Lincoln and Davis would be proud to see such collaboration and communication.

Removing this painting says we are incapable of putting aside our differences and simply being human. This can’t be true because people are doing just that in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. So why not let this painting remain to remind us of how dangerous division is, but also how it can be conquered when we put our world into perspective?

Autumn DeMartino

South Mills

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