Editorial: The importance of creating new statues that are historically meaningful, inclusive

Editorial: shared concerns

MADISON, Wis. — Here’s an idea on which we can all agree.

We can still agree on something, can’t we? A new statue honoring Vel Philips, the first African American to be elected in America to a statewide office.

Too easily lost in the debate over tearing down or moving monuments and statues some find hurtful, disrespectful or demeaning is the importance of creating new statues that are historically meaningful and inclusive. The absence of significant markers, prominently displayed paying tribute to the contributions of African American leaders in Wisconsin is disgraceful and embarrassing.

Let’s have a debate over what existing statues should be removed. It’s an important and necessary examination of who we are. But at the same time let’s also acknowledge the glaring gaps in our shared desire to honor those who have contributed so much to our state and our nation. Vel Philips is an extraordinary and indisputable choice to start that effort.