Monday, July 7, 2008


The Lee County Board of Supervisors, responding to what was obviously one of the great needs of their constituents, have approved a civil rights monument. Who exactly will pay for it, what it will look like, and-hey!-who or what exactly it will honor isn't known.

Bad precedent. Bad. How about a statue of Henry Ford? Buford Pusser? Jumpin' Gene Simmons? All have as much to do with the history of Tupelo.

I'm not making light of the Civil Rights Movement, but really, shouldn't monuments be reserved for places that actually had something happen there? The Lorraine Motel is appropriate, Ebbets Field is appropriate, the church in Birmingham is appropriate. Putting up a monument in every town cheapens the meaning of them. That's why all those monuments are in Washington and not everywhere else. That's why there's only one Mount Rushmore. Having one everywhere just makes the experience...diminished. That's why monument is a shorter form of 'monumental.'

After all, anybody can eat at McDonalds. Not everyone gets to eat at the white-tablecloth places.

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