Pastor Collins Responds To Lewis & Clark Statue Question


As we look across the landscape of our American society, and we hear “the deposition” of the many media outlets, it is almost impossible not to take the vantage point that everything is a black or white issue.

Hard to say, but maybe there is a possibility that the racial divide in our nation is more than simply all things black or white.

I understand that we expect our laws to be black and white, our corporate policies and procedures are drafted to be black and white, and Lord knows that seemingly every adverse situation that occurs in society is promulgated as a black and white issue.

Just maybe there is not a black or white answer to the racial issues that our nation, our state, and even our city faces.

Especially, in light of the conflict that rages between the legal and illegal removal of historical statues and monuments across our great nation.

There was a poll taken recently, in connection with a previous article regarding the removal of historical statues and monuments, and upon reading the article my first instinctual thought was, it’s not that black or white, it’s not simply a yes or no discussion.

Here is why, history is vitally important to any culture, and specifically to our American culture. Without history there can be no firm foundation upon which to build, fortify, and advance our future as a nation.

In lieu of that, we must also be willing to open our hearts to a possible perspective that all history must be remembered, but not all history should be memorialized. Case in point, one of the great movements in our 21st century society many would say has been the #MeToo movement, whereby many women and men declare victory over sexual assault in the history of their lives.

Now although many of these courageous women and men remember the events that took place in their lives, many do not want these events memorialized by a statue or a building named after the person who offended them. So, for many African-Americans slavery is our cultural #MeToo moment.

This is due to the fact, that the black culture was raped physically, socially, and psychologically throughout the annals of U.S. History.

Speaking of U.S. History, one of the greatest Americans in our country’s illustrious existence is Alexander Hamilton, the creator of our U.S. banking system. Mr. Hamilton’s face graces the ten dollar bill, one of two non-presidents featured on U.S bills.

Yet, Mr. Hamilton is historically known for being in an adulterous affair with a Mrs. Maria Reynolds, and although this is a part of U.S. history, I would never fathom in a million years that she should be memorialized on the ten dollar bill with him. This is even after many historians believe that this pivotal segment in U.S. History, may have eliminated the possibility of Alexander Hamilton becoming president of the United States.

I guess what I am trying to say is that before we as the citizens of Great Falls allow ourselves to be thrust into the proverbial box of checking yes or no, black or white, maybe there is a third option that the rest of our nation never pondered.

Maybe there is a place in history, meaning right now, where we memorialize the great accomplishments of our nation, while yet remembering the dark era of slavery.

Maybe there is a time in history, meaning now, when we can all drive over the Warden Bridge, look up toward Freedom Hill and memorialize the great expedition of Lewis & Clark, while remembering York who was once there, but because now he is no longer a slave, he has been set free and removed.

Marcus Collins
Marcus Collins
Pastor Marcus is the Senior Pastor of the AT Worship Temple here in Great Falls. He is also a playwright, screenwriter, and an avid sports enthusiast.


  1. Thank you for your words. People say it is history and American pride. Germans can make the same arguement regarding the Nazi generals, flags, and symbols. Realty is the Nazi generals, flags, and symbols represent much more than German pride and the horrible things they did.


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