Over the last few weeks, tensions have risen across the country about whether or not Confederate statues should be removed. Should the symbols of our country's history be taken down and potentially replaced with figures that are less controversial? Some believe they have the answer: remove the Civil War statues and replace them with prominent celebrities.
A Change.org petition popped up calling for Louisiana lawmakers to remove Confederate statues and replace them with a statue of pop star Britney Spears, who grew up in the Pelican state.
"Not only has Britney proven her talent, but she's proven her strength of character by not only overcoming highly publicized mental breakdown, but by continuously working towards improving herself. She's an inspiration to millions," the petition said.
The petition also includes a number of Spears' accomplishments, including her fundraising efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina and 2016 flood victims.
Spears' petition currently has 6,675 signatures.
Another Change.org petition calls for Portsmouth, Virginia, to tear down the Confederate statue in their Old Towne and replace it with a statue of rapper Missy Elliott, who is from the city.
"Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it," the petition said, playing on the rapper's song 'Work It.'
Elliott's petition has approximately 31,984 signatures.
A petition in Florida calls for a Confederate statue to be pulled down and replaced with a manatee to serve as a tribute to Snooty the manatee, a local celebrity who lived at the South Florida Museum's Parker Manatee Aquarium. He passed away in July.
According to the petition, Snooty is the longest known living manatee in the world.
"To honor Snooty's legacy as a positive icon in Bradenton, I propose that the negative symbol of racism and oppression that is the Confederate monument be relocated and replaced with a statue of Snooty the Manatee," the petition's author, Anthony Pusateri, wrote. "By doing so, the Confederate monument could possibly be moved to a museum (or other more appropriate location) out of everyday public eye and a more positive symbol then take its place."
The petition currently has 13,644 signatures.
A cultural loss
Tearing down and removing Confederate statues should not be occurring. There are aspects of the Civil War that not all agree with, but the war was a huge part of American history.
Brothers, fathers and sons were pinned against one another during the war. Households were divided. Lives were lost. And yet, through the bloodshed, our nation came out stronger. We picked up the pieces, patched ourselves up and continued on, just as Americans always do.
While many will argue the war was about slavery, it didn't begin that way. The Civil War began as a war about states' rights and what powers belonged to the feds versus the states.
These historical statues serve a purpose: to remind us where we came from and to never repeat history in the same way. Replacing them with celebrities is a slap in the face to history and our forefathers.
(H/T The Hill)