Things get heated as New Orleans dismantles Confederate monuments.

There are no easy answers when it comes to a war that divided the country, but we can try.

In the early hours of April 24, 2017, the first of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans was dismantled — to the delight of some and anger of others.

In 2015, the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to remove four of the city's Confederate monuments. Just months after Dylann Roof murdered nine people inside a Charleston, South Carolina, church, many in the South began the process of reconsidering what place Confederate flags and monuments have in modern society.

New Orleans voted to remove its public monuments.


The first monument taken down was the Liberty Place monument — a statue honoring the Crescent City White League's attempt to overthrow New Orleans' government after the Civil War.

Workers dismantle the Liberty Place monument. Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP.

From 1934 until 1981, when the inscription was covered up, the statue shared an endorsement of white supremacy:

"McEnery and Penn having been elected governor and lieutenant-governor by the white people were duly installed by this overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers, Governor Kellogg (white) and Lieutenant-Governor Antoine (colored). United States troops took over the state government and reinstated the usurpers but the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state."

You'd think that dismantling a literal monument to white supremacy would be something most people could agree on. You'd be wrong.

Workers taking down the monument faced threats of violence from those intent on preserving it and had to sneak in to dismantle it in the dead of night, guarded by snipers and wearing bulletproof vests and military-style helmets.

A common argument in favor of protecting the Confederate-era monuments is that removing them would be a form of "erasing history."

Corey Stewart, a Republican running for governor of Virginia, even went so far as to say that removing the monument meant that "ISIS has won."

And others made a bizarre argument about the removal of the monument being about "Marxism."

Dana Farley of New Orleans stands vigil at the statue of Jefferson Davis. Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP.

But taking down these monuments doesn't mean forgetting the Confederacy's role in American history.

Nobody is going to forget the Confederacy anytime soon — especially not those whose ancestors were harmed by it — and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who argues that artifacts from the Civil War shouldn't be displayed in proper context within museums.

Yes, some monuments simply mark a historical event or person; but others outright celebrate them, and it can be a very thin line between the two. Perhaps there's a better way to remember significant moments in history without celebrating those who fought to preserve the institution of slavery.

In 2016, The Atlantic reported that there are around 1,500 Confederate monuments around the U.S. — many of these monuments located in regions of the country that weren't even a part of the Confederacy. Statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard pepper the country.

On Twitter, people chimed in with some suggestions for what we can honor in place of these monuments without forgetting or erasing our Civil War history.

History is what happens, and it should never, ever be forgotten. Monuments come after, and they don't always get it right.

Remembering the Civil War doesn't mean we must pay tribute to those who took arms against the state, and it certainly doesn't mean we must (or even should) preserve literal monuments to white supremacy and racism — especially in a city with a majority people-of-color population.

Workers dismantle the Liberty Place monument. Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP.

The real question here — which is sure to bring out strong emotions on all sides of this issue — is about what we build next. Do we take a critical look at our past to inform ourselves how to live better today, or do we devote time and energy and emotion to uncritical protection of vanity monuments that only divide us further?

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

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