Duke University removes statue of Confederate general

Lawrence Kim
August 22, 2017

President Donald Trump, who has blamed the tragic events on "many sides" and refused to call out the white supremacists who were the aggressors, subscribes to the same philosophy embraced by white nationalists. Removing them does not sanitize history. But while cities like New Orleans and Baltimore have done just that, North Carolina's monuments remain protected under a 2015 law barring their removal.

"The Civil War was fought over nothing less than slavery, and we should not honor those like Robert E. Lee who committed themselves to the Confederacy and its white supremacist ideals", the Tri-City scientist said.

You don't need a monument to learn history.

A handful of descendants of Confederate Civil War leaders Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Jefferson Davis are siding with those who believe monuments to their famous ancestors should be pulled down and moved to other settings, such as museums. Why are there memorials in his honor in the first place? It is an impressive boulevard with enormous statues of confederate generals from the Civil War.

They were built between the 1890s and the 1920s - decades after the Civil War ended in 1865 - as a means for white Southerners to assert their perceived supremacy over African Americans, in the era of segregation and the birth of the Jim Crow laws.

The university said that surveillance camera footage was being reviewed for clues as to who was behind the attack on the statue, which stands by the chapel entrance. We remember Jefferson the slave master; but we also remember the Declaration of Independence, the University of Virginia, a role in our national history that is not reducible to his slaveholding.

McCallister said all veterans - Confederate or not - deserve respect. Soon after, the state took down the flag.

It was his way, he said, to remind others that America is for everyone.

But the belief that white people are victims ignores the structural reality of racism in the U.S., he added. Many nations with equally ugly pasts are capable of a collective introspection which we have so far mostly avoided.

"The United States has never as a nation come to terms with the meaning of slavery and the Civil War, and that is a fundamental problem". Eleven percent said they were unsure.

Those arguing for the removal of the statues are seeking to remove these symbols of oppression. But in an interview, Jack Christian, 38, a writing instructor at Westfield State University in MA, rejected the idea that history requires such monuments to stand.

Another local Confederate memorial, UNC Chapel Hill's "Silent Sam" statue on McCorkle Place, has been vandalized repeatedly in recent years, usually with spray paint.

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

"It's the very fact of the plinth - you have to somehow take these people - literally or metaphorically - off their plinths, because it's the elevation of them that is the crucial thing", explained Smith. As Filipino journalist Jose Antonio Vargas said on Twitter, "Most Americans do not know the full extent of United States history". White supremacist Dylan Roof - who posed with the Confederate flags in several images - opened fire in a black church, killing nine.

In comparison to other monuments in the state - such as ones in Raleigh and even Silent Sam, which received significant money from the UDC - Durham's monument stands out for being small and for being funded with public money.

Organizers of the "Unite the Right" march said that the rally was a response to the city's efforts to remove the Lee statue from Emancipation Park.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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