Letter: Reasons to remove 100-year-old markers needs objective, evidence-based evaluation 

November 24, 2023

The argument presented for removing these markers relies heavily on emotional appeal and subjective opinions rather than factual, comprehensive analysis. Labeling these markers as “offensive” or even as “slurs” without a detailed and factual explanation lacks credibility and diminishes the significance of historical context. 

Depending on a select few opinions, such as members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission or a subset of Indigenous scholars, while neglecting a broader range of perspectives, is an error. A decision affecting the community’s historical representation should not be dictated by the opinions of a few. 

Mr. Palumbo’s argument that if a sign supporting slavery were in Concord, it would be swiftly removed, and therefore the historical markers should also be taken down, is a false analogy. A fictitious sign supporting slavery is distinct from the current markers in Concord, which denote the town’s historical settlement. (His argument doesn’t even make sense; Massachusetts was the first state to completely abolish slavery). Equating these dissimilar scenarios misrepresents the nature and context of the historical markers. 

While Concord should certainly focus on educating people on the fascinating Indigenous history of the area, this rush to erase these markers represents a dangerous form of historical revisionism. It shuts down the opportunity for an informed and nuanced understanding of history, depriving the community of the chance to engage with and learn from the past. To dismiss these markers as solely offensive is a disservice to the potential educational value they could provide with proper contextualization. 

The decision seems to prioritize emotional reactions over a well-informed and balanced approach that considers historical significance and the potential for educational enlightenment. This rushed and emotionally driven decision must be reconsidered in favor of a more objective, evidence-based evaluation that respects historical accuracy and diverse perspectives while preserving Concord’s important history. 

Samuel Smythe 

Lowell Road