Americans are again talking more and more about whether or not monuments to Confederate soldiers, politicians, or ideals belong in public places. In some cases, that debate has spiraled into violence like in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Wednesday evening, a team of scholars from The University of Arizona will host a public forum to discuss the historical context of Charlottesville.
UA Assistant Professor Susan Crane says studying history can help people understand what's happening today.
“One of the things I like to highlight for people is there’s never one group or never one American public opinion about something,” she said “There are lots of groups and that is why we have controversy and conflict.”
Supporters of the statues and other monuments say they honor Southern heritage.
Opponents say they're icons of white supremacy.
Crane says studying history can provide some insight into why some groups feel the way they do but in this case it’s hard to predict the future by studying the past.
“I'm a big fan of saying history doesn't repeat itself,” Crane said. “What we can see are some interesting patterns,” she said groups removing monuments erected by other opposing groups has occurred for thousands of years but it is unclear what will happen to the hundreds of Confederate monuments throughout the south.
Crane, along with Katie Hemphill and Tyina Steptoe, from the UA History Department, will participate in the panel discussion.
The forum is titled: "White Supremacy, Monuments, and Memory: Charlottesville in Historical Context."
It begins at 5:30 in the Integrated Learning Center, Room 120.