Defenders say removing statues is a white-washing of our heritage and history.
Most removals take place overnight
“Every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. “And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.”–George Orwell novel “1984.”
The Arlington House mansion overlooks, as is placed in an exact line with Arlington National Cemetery, the John F. Kennedy grave site, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the United States Capitol. It was the home of Robert E. Lee for 30 years. The National Park Service says, “it exists as a place of study and contemplation of the meaning of some of the most difficult aspects of American History: military service; sacrifice; citizenship; duty; loyalty; slavery and freedom.”
America could use some of that kind of contemplation right now.
A majority of Americans believe these monuments should remain in place as historical symbols, according to a new poll by a PBS, NPR and Marist survey. Overall, 62 percent of Americans say the statues should stay, while only 27 believe they should be removed. Many in the liberal media are burying the results of the poll.
“I’m distraught,” said Dr. Michele Bogart of Stony Brook University, an expert on public monuments. “We are destroying ourselves…“We tend to ascribe meaning to older works according to our views about moral rights and wrongs today. It’s legitimate to argue that a work is problematic. But there are disagreements about how indignant you are supposed to get because of that.”
Yesterday, Duke University removed their statue of General Robert E. Lee from Duke Chapel after it was discovered vandalized last week.
Vanderbilt University in Nashville said Monday they are going to pay more $1.2 million to remove an inscription containing the word “Confederate” from the Confederate Memorial Hall dorm. It was constructed with the help of a $50,000 gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1933.
Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia is calling for the removal of the reliefs of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson carved 400 feet above the ground on the side of Stone Mountain even though the carving is protected by law.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” —President Donald J. Trump
Protesters in Durham, North Caroline pulled down a 1924 statue of a Confederate soldier at the Durham County Courthouse on Monday. Durham County released a statement confirming a 2015 state law prohibiting the removal of historical monuments and memorials by local governments without state permission. Eight protesters face charges of inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and property damage.
“Old Joe,” a monument to Confederate soldiers in Gainesville, Florida was relocated to a cemetery outside the city. Erected in front of the Alachua County Administration Building 113 years ago, a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy attempted to preserve it by paying for the relocation.
On Tuesday, Birmingham, Alabama Mayor William Bell ordered the erection of a plywood structure around the base of the 1905 Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Linn Park. State Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit because the plywood structure is in violation of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017. Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed the act on May 24. It prohibits renaming of buildings and streets that have had their current names for 40 years or longer. It also prevents local governments from removing or altering monuments that have stood for at least 40 years. If the court sides with Marshall, the city could face a $25,000 fine for each day that the monument has been covered.
Vandals struck the “Silent Sam” statue at the University of North Carolina also on Tuesday. It was a monument to a UNC alum killed in the Civil War.
On Wednesday, approved by city officials, the overnight removal of four Confederate monuments were taken down in Baltimore, Maryland. The monuments where to former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney (erected in 1871), General Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee (1948), Confederate soldiers (1902), and Confederate women (1917). Carolyn Billups, the former Maryland president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, criticized Pugh for not consulting the public.
Also on Wednesday, a plaque honoring a tree planted in Brooklyn, New York in the 1840s by Robert E. Lee was removed.
A 1956 plaque commemorating a highway named for Confederate President Jefferson Davis also removed on Wednesday under the orders of city officials in San Diego, California. Daughters of the Confederacy member Donna Derrick told local media, “I don’t see any point in removing all of our Southern culture and the war between the states as if it did not ever happen,” responded Donna Derrick, a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
During the early morning hours a Confederate monument in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles was taken down.
City officials in Franklin, Ohio, had a marker removed for Robert E. Lee overnight Thursday.
Lexington, Kentucky mayor Jim Gray has 30 days to find a new location for two Confederate statues from the city’s historic courthouse, according to the City Council. But the removal first has to be approved by the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission.
San Antonio, Texas city officials are considering taking down a statue at Travis Park, near the historic Alamo.
Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro wants to remove the name of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from one of its buildings. The proposal must get the approval from the Tennessee Historical Commission.
A statue first erected in 1988, but taken down in Slovakia in 1989, that was rescued and preserved by a Washington state resident in 1995 faces removal. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) supports taking down the statue of Soviet Union leader Vladimir Lenin, comparing it to a Confederate memorial.
Memphis, Tennessee city officials want to remove a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general, from a city park, but first needs approval from a state agency.
Other cities planning to remove statues are Alexandria, VA; Portsmouth, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Norfolk, VA; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; and Pensacola, FL.