An uncertain future for Confederate monuments

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Madison Hoffmann
News Editor

Attention on dozens of Confederate memorials across the United States has been renewed after a protest opposing the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, claiming the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 34 others.

Many government officials are now making calls to remove monuments in their cities after the Charlottesville tragedy.

Four Confederate statues were removed in Baltimore after Mayor Catherine Pugh decided it was in the best interest of the city.

“The mayor has the right to protect her city,” Pugh said in an interview with the New York Times. “For me, the statues represented pain, and not only did I want to protect my city from any more of that pain, I also wanted to protect my city from any of the violence that was occurring around the nation. We don’t need that in Baltimore.”

Other removals include two plaques honoring Robert E. Lee in Brooklyn, New York: a monument in Gainesville, Florida: and four monuments in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In Durham, a total of eight people are being charged after an unsanctioned dismantling of a Confederate statue in front of the Durham County courthouse on Aug 14.  

Elena Everett, one of the charged, said she didn’t mind facing felony charges for participating.  

“If I am a part of the Durham community and taking down the Confederate statue then I hope that I’ve played a role in history and I think a lot of people here feel that way,” said Everett in an interview with CBS News.

President Donald Trump openly showed his opposition to these acts taking place across the United States when he tweeted, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” with a subsequent tweet that said “the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

Despite the President’s opinions, many cities have proposed plans to remove their Confederate monuments.

Planned proposals to remove monuments have taken place in a variety of places including Annapolis, Maryland, Jacksonville, Florida, Lexington, Kentucky, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Richmond, Virginia, San Antonio, Texas and Washington D.C.

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified roughly 1,503 Confederate-named places and other symbols in public spaces across the United States in 2016 even though the National Register of Historic Places does not hold a detailed list of Confederate memorials. Nevertheless, the fight will continue from city to city whether or not the Confederate memorials will stand.



Categories: News, Politics

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