Intense Debate Grows Over Race and History as Confederate Statues Removed

June 19, 2018Jun 19, 2018

The Civil War was arguably the defining moment in our young nation’s history as two groups of people clashed over state’s rights and more formidably, slavery and the freedom of every individual, regardless of color.

In the early 1900’s and at the height of the Civil Rights movement, several Confederate statues were erected in various states to enshrine the leaders and the battles who waged that war. Now, those landmarks of history are being torn down, one after another.

According to Fox News, more than 30 cities across the United States have removed or relocated Confederate statues and monuments, sparked largely by the horrific rally in Virginia in August 2017, where a group of “Unite the Right” protestors led to the death of a woman, who was protesting against white supremacy.

The monuments are spread throughout the South. Discussions are under way about their removal. In Annapolis, for example, a monument of former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney was taken down from the State House’s front lawn after standing for 145 years.

Taney was the notorious Justice who ruled in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that African-Americans could not be U.S. citizens. The monument was removed “as a matter of public safety,” said the city’s Republican mayor.

In Austin, Texas, University of Texas’ president had monuments dedicated to Robert E. Lee and others removed because he said in a statement that “Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

Oddly, a 1,200-pound bronze statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which was removed in 2015 from the university, has now returned to the campus and placed in the Briscoe Center for American History, according to Fox News.

In Baltimore, Confederate statues dedicated to Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson as well as Confederate soldiers and sailors, and Confederate women, were removed from public places, and the space where several Confederate statues had stood was rededicated to abolitionist and civil rights pioneer Harriet Tubman.

There are many more cities following suit. Do you think this is the right thing to do? Or are we erasing a part of American history that is integral to our understanding of who we are and from where we’ve come?

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