September 24, 2017
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I am in favor of Confederate statues. I am definitely not a pigeon.

By Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post
Troy R. Bennett | BDN | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN | BDN
Pigeons are feed in Congress Square in Portland. Confederate statues are great places in which to build a foundation of carefully selected twigs, twine and assorted debris, then lay a warm beautiful egg that will someday hatch into a magnificent, glorious bird, the king of the air.

Two reasons I am definitely not here protesting the removal of this Confederate statue: because I am a white supremacist who wants to protect a racist legacy, or because I am a pigeon who has laid an egg on this statue somewhere.

Listen, like you, I am a human being. I have zero feathers but many gangly appendages covered in skin, and I am flightless. Yet in spite of this, I love these statues, and not because their little metal hats are great places in which to build a foundation of carefully selected twigs, twine and assorted debris, then lay a warm beautiful egg that will someday hatch into a magnificent, glorious bird, the king of the air.

I am one of the “very fine people” whom President Donald Trump was talking about, definitely a person, who was there to protest the taking down of the statue for human reasons that had nothing to do with racism or the nest of vulnerable white eggs currently exposed in that Confederate general’s hat.

I am a human being like you, a featherless biped with hairs all over my epidermis. And I am not a racist. I don’t know what the word “racism” means. Also, I don’t see color. I perceive light on the ultraviolet spectrum. As everyone here does, I hope. That is how we humans perceive light, I am pretty sure.

Getting rid of these statues would be for the birds, an expression I use in its derogatory sense, as we humans often do.

Like so many of us here, I do not have a racist bone in my body, though if I did that racist bone would definitely be dense and not hollow. I just want to protect my nest egg — NOT a literal egg in a nest, of course, but one of those metaphorical nest eggs we human beings are always so upset about. Economic anxiety? Yes, I have that. That is what I have. My nest egg, again, is metaphorical, not literally on this statue right now, vulnerable and exposed with its white shell open to the elements. KEEP THAT TORCH AWAY from what is definitely not my only genetic legacy, but a beautifully constructed nest that is unaffiliated with me, a human protester.

This is a normal request from me, a human, perched here with you in solidarity on my two appendages. I am not here to fan the flames of hatred, an action that I would do with hands and not wings, obviously. I am not a hawk nor a dove. I am not a bird at all, again. I am not affiliated with any sort of organization with “coo” or “clucks” in its name, neither for racist reasons nor for the reason that these are noises a bird would make. I distance myself from both of those things equally.

Like so many of you, when I look at this statue, I do not see a figure of hate. I don’t see a figure at all, honestly. More of a blur. And that is not because I am viewing it from above while soaring aloft on the wings that are the greatest boon that can be bestowed by nature, but for another reason that I do not need to spell out.

Like all of you, I just want to keep this statue here for reasons that do not have anything to do with wanting to defecate on it, lay eggs on it or perch on it to preen my beautiful gray feathers. Or, of course, racism. Those are just a few of the MULTIPLE reasons that I do not have for wanting this statue to stay exactly where it is, conveniently located near a man on a bench who often eats french fries — a fellow man, I should say, a fellow very fine being who has hideous bone protrusions at the opening to his alimentary canal that he uses to masticate food, just as I do.

This isn’t a pigeon issue. This statue doesn’t provide succor to just racists and pigeons. Who among us has not sheltered here during a high wind and enjoyed a french fry he or she found on the sidewalk and lifted with great effort?

I don’t think anyone seeing this statue would reasonably think “I am not welcome here.” Unlike other statues that carry boomboxes and move and demand money and raise their hideous featherless wings to strike at those good citizens who would land on them, these statues are peaceful and quiet. They are just CRYING OUT to be perched on, either by humans, like myself, or sparrows, whom I spite as good-for-nothings.

It is, to me, as Trump says (not tweets — I, a human, would not understand a tweet) a very, very important statue. I am a human person, very fine, and I am not here because of racism. I just want to protect that statue, at all costs.

Yes, I am a hard-working American who struggles all day and then goes home to vomit food into my children’s mouths, and I am sick to see what we are doing to this absolutely nonpolarizing landmark.

Please don’t photograph me — not because I am ashamed to be here (because I am NOT) or because, if there is a flash, I will fly up into the sky in great alarm (I will not do that EITHER, definitely). I just do not like photos — AAAAAH OH GOD FLAP FLAP FLAP FLAP GET AWAY GET AWAY.

OK, you got me — I am a pigeon. I am not sure what these people are doing.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog for The Washington Post, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of “A Field Guide to Awkward Silences.” Follow her on Twitter: @petridishes

 


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