In the wake of the weekend’s deadly “rally,” many municipalities are removing confederate statues. The debate about the removal of others is raging in back-rooms of public buildings, and on the streets. Many see these bronze castings and stone carvings as memorials to a past defined by racial inequity and servitude that need to go before real healing can begin.
Others see them as tributes to their past. What they are is clearly up for debate. What they were intended to be may be more clear. Most were put up well after the war, during a time of heightened racial tensions in reconstruction. Some were placed during the height of the civil rights struggles that marked the 100 year anniversary of the war that was supposed to have guaranteed civil rights.
And now, it looks like they’re coming down. The removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, even though others have come down before this one, will be seen as the start of a movement.
How many are there out there? As CNN notes, “the National Register of Historic Places does not keep a detailed list of Confederate memorials across the United States. In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1,503 Confederate ‘place names and other symbols in public spaces’ across the nation.
This would include parks, street names, names of schools, statues and memorials….
Here are the ones currently being considered for removal.
States removing monuments
Maryland: Overnight, Baltimore took down four monuments.
Virginia: a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at the newly-renamed Emancipation Park is slated for removal.
Florida: The statue of “Old Joe” in Gainesville, Florida down. It was removed Monday. It will be relocated by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The Memoria In Aeterna statue in Tampa, Florida is also on the block. The Hillsborough County Civil War Veterans Monument will also go.
North Carolina: protesters tore down a Confederate monument on Monday. Others are in the works
Kentucky: A statue of Gen. John Hunt Morgan in Lexington, Kentucky. Two other monuments in Lexington are up for consideration, too.
States considering removal
Texas: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has created a task force to determine the fate of its statues. “This is simple. We could remove them, the question is, how do we heal on this issue? To do that we have to talk and listen to one another,” Rawlings said.
San Antonio and Houston are also looking into how legally remove them.
Florida: The city council in Jacksonville has asked for a list of all Confederate monuments and markers ahead of a plan to remove them.
Virginia: In what will likely be one of the most contentious debates, Richmond has put its Confederate monuments up for discussion. This includes Monument Avenue, a street dedicated to some grandiose statues. This is a defining feature of the city, and the cornerstone of one of the most prestigious neighborhoods.
Atlanta: The elephant in the room in Atlanta is Stone Mountain, where a giant carving of Confederate generals looms over the park.
Alabama: This state has an even stickier wicket. State law prohibits removal of the statuary. While the law can be amended, it will take time. Until then, plastic and plywood structures are encasing the memorials.
There are other states that aren’t, at least at this moment, considering the removal of their memorials.
Arizona: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey spoke with CNN. “It’s not my desire or mission to tear down any monuments or memorials. We have a public process for this. If the public wants to be engaged on this, I’d invite them to get engaged in it,” Ducey said.
Pennsylvania: Gettysburg National Military Park, arguably an appropriate place for memorials and markers, is staying clear of the debate. For now.
This leaves just a few states undecided. Mississippi and Arkansas have stayed reasonably quiet, as has Louisiana.