If Removing Confederate Monuments Is The Goal, There Are Over 700 More To Go
The events that unfolded in Charlottesville are a clear demonstration of the relationship between white supremacy and the romanization of the Confederacy.
What is the point of Confederate monuments? It depends on who you ask. Some argue that the structures are memorials to veterans whose military service is an indelible part of American history, others see them as a shameful ode to white supremacism, while other groups view the resistance to the demolition of these monuments, and the brand new erection of a whole new crop of Confederate statues, less as a remembrance of history and more as a symbol of racism. Historical revisionism aside, the events that unfolded in Charlottesville are a clear demonstration of the relationship between white supremacy and the romanization of the Confederacy.
According to USA Today, there are at least over 700, possibly more than 1,000 Confederate monuments prominently displayed in public parks, courthouse squares and state capitols across 31 states. Many of them exist outside of former Confederate states. Statues can be found in border states like Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia and Maryland that actually fought on the opposite side of the line with the Union Army. Full on Union states, including Massachusetts, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, and states that weren't even states, but territories during the Civil War (Montana, Arizona, and Oklahoma) all have erected odes to the Confederacy.
The establishment of Confederate monuments, which peaked in the early 1900's, saw a huge swell during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and the number of new monuments has actually increased in recent years. While public outcry has lead to the removal of a few monuments and the contextualization of others, by and large, the structures still remain in tact.
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We can all agree it's time for this country to remove these statues in hope of a better and brighter future.