The long, sordid saga is over. The Lee statue has been removed.
The city finally found a competent crane company and extricated General Lee. But questions remain: Will they replace it? Will it have an impact on emboldened white supremacists? What will they do with the statue now?
Dallas Magazine will leave those questions to more well-resourced publications, and focus on a question no one is asking.
Who was the boy next to Lee in the infamous statue in Lee Park, and does he deserve the deferred action that so many young people have recently lost?
Dallas Morning News describes the young man riding with Lee. “Next to Lee is a young soldier, also on horseback, who represents all the young men inspired to fight under the general’s command.”
But are we so sure he was “inspired,” and not forced? Was he brought to the Confederacy by his elders, like so many of the youth who used to be protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act? If he was a childhood arrival to the Confederacy, just as many children were brought to this country, should he have been removed, too?
Despite the end of DACA, this country attempts not to punish children for the sins of their guardians, which is why we say we want to provide equal opportunity for all kids, whether their parents pass the bar or spend every night at one. And yet, cranes removed this young man just as they did with the man who led the Confederate Army.
Perhaps there was still time to change this young man. Maybe he saw the error of his ways and went home to be an abolitionist. He needs an advocate. Nearly two-thirds of the country support DACA, but no one is speaking up about this young man.
Lee Park was the site of a small gathering of mourners this weekend, as they had a memorial service for the lost statue. The demonstrators sang “Amazing Grace,” which ironically became an iconic African American spiritual after being written in the late 1700s. Time will tell how the statue’s removal will impact life in Dallas, but one young man might have been convicted by proxy.