Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Context is key on Confederate monuments

Context is key on Confederate monuments

The mayor of Charlottesville called on Friday for a special session of Virginia's legislature to let localities decide the fate of Confederate monuments like the statue at the center of a far-right rally last week that turned deadly. They did not fight to preserve the principles of freedom and equality that define our country. "So I disapprove with young people localpulling down those statues". But Confederate statues were erected to honor post-Civil War white supremacists who are only known for choosing their home states over their Union and fighting a war to defend and extend the evil institution of slavery.

The toppled statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina. Like a museum, a cemetery is a place for remembering people from the past, no matter how we feel about them now.

It's estimated that North Carolina has more than 230 Civil War statues, markers and monuments, including ten in Mecklenburg County. Confederate symbols in other ways: In 1956, Georgia redesigned its state flag to include the Confederate battle flag; and in 1962, SC placed the flag atop its capitol building. Anyone who willfully injures or destroys any of them on public property shall be fined, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. In Birmingham, Alabama, a wooden structure is used to cover up a Confederate monument.

Click on the videos below to discover some of the more nuanced arguments for and against the removal of Confederate statues.

Yet many defend such statues and monuments of southern Civil War figures as a part of USA history that should not be erased.

Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning to cover the monuments devoted to Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in fabric as an expression of mourning of Heather Heyer, according to the Associated Press.

Although 50 percent of likely voters continues to back keeping Confederate statues, the percentage in favor of removing them appears to be rising.

The Chronicle: What were your thoughts of the statue before it was taken down?

White supremacist marches have renewed the conversation about what should happen to symbols of the Confederacy.

For African-Americans, the Confederate flag and statues of its generals like Robert E. Lee, who led the American states in the south to secede from the United States over slavery and related issues, are symbols of the fight to keep their ancestors in chains.

Did they go to honor the dead? Are we a nation that will stoop this low to follow these mad men in other countries? It's time to do the right thing, and get these Confederate monuments out of public spaces.

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