In addition to monuments to the Union and Confederate honorees, the … Questions Remain in Police Shooting. Laws have certainly changed since then, but racial discrimination still very much exists in the country, which is why these Confederate monuments and symbols are still so controversial. Virginia, once the capital of the Confederacy, has more than 200 statues honoring the side that lost the Civil War. But experts believe the monuments were built to send a message promoting white supremacy. Commentary A large number of Confederate memorials were constructed in the 1920s, at a time when Civil War veterans, who had long been respected in Southern society, were dying of old age. "They were built during a period of racial violence and strong beliefs about Anglo-Saxon supremacy," Karen L. Cox, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said. Instead their very survival depends on operating in a clear-eyed reality where systemic racial oppression shapes their lives now and then.”. Many southerners claim Confederate monuments are a representation of their history and were erected to honor Civil War heroes. Following the landmark Brown versus Board of Education decision in 1954, which said maintaining racially segregated schools was unconstitutional, there was an uptick in the number of colleges and schools named after Confederate soldiers and generals: From 1954 to 1970, at least 45 were named after Confederates. Because other motorists had previously hit the monument, the UDC, which had funded and erected the monument in 1910, decided the sculpture would be safer if it was moved to a nearby cemetery. All rights reserved. The monuments go up … "Why would you put a … For many activists, there is a direct line between police brutality that disproportionately kills Black people in America and the racial injustice these monuments embody. Houseless Residents Say They Were Evicted Without Warning in Richmond. In short they imply that racism was the prime motive for Confederate monument-building. June 11, 2020 2:41 pm EDT. 1911 was a big year for putting up Confederate monuments in a number of states; across the South, numerous statues were erected during the Jim Crow era. It’s from the Southern Poverty Law Center, and it shows us when all those Confederate monuments and statues were erected: This illustrates something that even a lot of liberals don’t always get. "The fact that they were placed on the grounds of county and state courthouses was intentional. Activists and some political leaders have tried for years to remove them. Blevins' "Forever in Mourning" Chart of Union and Confederate Monuments, 1860-1920 . Or as James Boyd, the NAACP chapter president for Portsmouth, another city discussing how their Confederate statues will come down, said: “People are just tired of being sick and tired.” Boyd added that the monuments represent more than 400 years of oppression. While those innocent individuals were being mourned, Confederate flags, symbols of slavery and oppression, were still being flown at the South Carolina statehouse. Xzavier Hill Was Unarmed, Family Says. As the nation underwent even more significant political changes during the 1960s and 1970s, hundreds of new Confederate monuments, statues and symbols were erected. Before that, Meghan was a cofounder at Morning Consult, where she led the company’s newsroom. But it was the mass protests over the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, that sped action along. VETERAN. Rashid: Why Would You Let Someone Steal Your Money Every Year? In this moment of reckoning around the country, monuments to confederate heroes have also tumbled or been targets of vandalism, most of which were erected decades after the Civil War. Similarly, after a 32-year-old woman was killed by white supremacists as they rallied over the removal of a Confederate statue in Charleston this weekend, hundreds of similar monuments that are an homage to white supremacy still exist across the country. Big statues in prominent public spaces erected to make a point about the supposed glories of the Confederacy should be transferred elsewhere (ideally to museums or battlefields). Most of the Confederate monuments in the United States were commissioned and erected during times of racial strife, or by organizations that championed white supremacy. Days after Northam's announcement, a self-admitted Ku Klux Klan leader and alleged Confederate ideologist rammed his pick-up truck into a crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators protesting near the statue on Sunday. The historic mass uprisings throughout Virginia against police brutality and racial injustice might make you think almost everyone supports the removal of the state’s Confederate monuments. Rashid: Why Would You Let Someone Steal Your Money Every Year? More statues were targeted following protests over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. The Associated Press contributed to this report. He thought they would make it harder for the country to heal. The removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked a deadly protest, but the Confederate general opposed them. The statues of Davis in the state capitol and Morgan in Lexington were erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. I think it’s an American Tragedy.”, Or another: “It belongs to America! While some may argue that the monuments are an important way to preserve American history, many of the statues that depict Civil War heroes were not erected until decades after the war had already ended. “This false narrative romanticized the war by glorifying Confederate leaders and Southern motivations. What Will New Casino Bring to Norfolk, Pamunkey Tribe? For example, one poster in the “Monument Avenue Preservation Group” on Facebook put it this way: “Welcome to Soviet Russia, destroy the past and re-write the narrative. But there are still plenty of white people in our state who are comfortable arguing, publicly on Facebook, that Confederate statues in the commonwealth should stay standing. All the news you need — right in your inbox, Virginia Sees Immediate Impact From Some of Biden's Executive Orders, Panel Vote Puts Pfizer COVID Vaccine Before FDA for Final Approval, Republicans Have Been Packing the Courts Since Trump Took Office, Xzavier Hill Was Unarmed, Family Says. Social Justice “More than anything, I think we are dealing with questions of historical memory here,” Dickinson said. Before Charlottesville, the most high-profile move came earlier this year, when New Orleans finished tearing down four Confederate monuments. So, why were Confederate monument erected in the first place? These arguments are uniquely ironic, considering the Confederate generals themselves chose to secede from America, an act of treason, and fight a bloody war to keep enslaving Black people. Confederate monuments may be a part of history, but not the part of history that most people probably associate them with. Not just statues were erected during this period, either. In the meantime, protesters in Richmond and other Virginia cities have pulled down statues themselves, including a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. The reality is that they were erected to support a cause, but not that cause you may think. After the "Unite the Right" rally, which was started in opposition of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, turned violent in Charlottesville, other officials across the country began removing statues in their own cities. Gov. Since the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) compiled the data, they suggest the memorials were most frequently put in place during periods of flagrant anti-black sentiment in the South. Ralph Northam announced last week that he would be removing the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert Lee, which sits on Monument Avenue in Richmond. They were built as … Meghan McCarthy Jim Crow laws legalized segregation in many states, and essentially made it completely OK for white citizens to discriminate or enact violence against black citizens. According to the AHA, most Confederate monuments were erected during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century, and this undertaking was "part and parcel of the initiation of legally mandated segregation and widespread disenfranchisement across the South." Chris Canipe, Haley Britzky. When were Confederate statues built and why? Written By Meghan McCarthy, Originally Published As Prof. Michael Dickinson, an expert in African American history at Virginia Commonwealth University, explained, there were “two primary motivations” for the people who put up Confederate statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond. (This was swiftly challenged in court and is under a ten-day injunction.) Virginia, once the capital of the Confederacy, has more than 200 statues honoring the side that lost the Civil War. Social Justice Wikipedia has a partial list here. Economy “The first was to help perpetuate the ‘Lost Cause’ narrative of the Civil War,” Dickinson said in an interview. … 2021 Bustle Digital Group. One statue is a tribute to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, whose image is the last remaining piece of Confederate iconography left standing on Richmond’s famous Monument Avenue. ONLY a cynical person would reach any other conclusions as to why Confederate Statues Monuments and Markers were erected. Vaccines Explained But given that Jim Crow laws, which attempted to disenfranchise black Americans, were being enacted in the South around this time, the statues also had a more sinister meaning. It was also a time of great poverty in the region following its loss in the war, and the statues were seen as a way to commemorate a more prosperous past. There's been a lot of discussion lately about whether Confederate monuments and memorials should remain in public spaces. is a national editor with COURIER and she helped found Dogwood. Neither was about celebrating America. They also did not go up during Reconstruction (1865-1877), a period during which the federal government, with greater or lesser success and enthusiasm, tried to make good on the emancipatory vision of Union victory (that without ending slavery and protecting the rights of African Americans, the war would have been fought in vain). So, why were Confederate monument erected in the first place? So, in essence, when you remove a Confederate statue monument or headstone, you are in fact, removing a statue monument or headstone of a U.S. Yet still standing were Confederate monuments that fueled the white supremacist ideas which got Evers, King and countless other Black people killed or brutalized, or discriminated against. Many southerners claim Confederate monuments are a representation of their history and were erected to honor Civil War heroes. "Tributes to the Confederacy — placing statues, naming streets and other public facilities — were part of the Lost Cause ideology that focused on an idyllic era of stately mansions, beautiful women, and gallant Confederate officers," Charles S. Bullock, III, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia, told Politifact. … Who raised the majority of the Confederate Monuments and Statues? The Confederate statues were put up when they were put up [not just after the war but largely during periods of Civil Rights tension in the 20th century], to send a message about white supremacy, and to sentimentalize people who had actively fought to preserve the system of slavery. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance to remove the other Confederate statues from the avenue. Just for the record, the last Confederate veteran died in the 1958s. Many people may be surprised to learn that most of these Confederate monuments and statues were erected more than 35 years after the Civil War ended. “And it took what is in effect a mass uprising of the community to say these things are not acceptable.”. Most notably, this ‘Lost Cause’ vision claimed that preserving states’ rights and preserving Southern culture were the central aims of the Confederacy, when in actuality preserving slavery and white supremacy were its main goals.”, The second motivation, Dickinson said, was “an effort to reassert white supremacy after Reconstruction—physical reminders for the black population who was in control.”. Activists tore down a Confederate soldier statue in Durham, North Carolina last year. Another ten monuments were documented in 1866, and 11 more in 1867 by the time the first post-war Confederate monuments were erected in Romney, Hampshire County, West Virginia and Chester, Chester County, South Carolina in 1867. For example, in June 2015, a white supremacist shot and killed nine people during a Bible study at a historically black church. Activists and some political leaders have tried for years to remove them. "These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy," James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, told NPR. When Confederate statues were erected throughout history. But it was the mass protests over the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, that sped action along. “These statues were erected, in essence, as a reminder to the community that Southern order and Southern culture depended upon white supremacy,” Grossman says. In many ways, the statues were meant to be a symbol of white supremacy. why were Confederate monument erected in the first place. After statues around the world were defaced as part of the Black Lives Matters protests, Kelly Grovier looks at why some monuments provoke powerful reactions. When were Confederate statues built and why? … We’ve tried marches, petitions, protests, going to city council” to get the Confederate monuments removed, said Phil Wilayto, a longtime community organizer and activist with the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. “It’s been a long time coming. The statue was commissioned in 1917 and erected in Charlottesville in 1924 Credit: AP:Associated Press. Here's What You Need to Know. In this moment of reckoning around the country, monuments to confederate heroes have also tumbled or been targets of vandalism, most of which were erected decades after the Civil War. No one puts a monument up to Washington or Jefferson to promote slavery. Stop the cultural cleansing of our nation’s great heroes and history!”. The mere idea of removing the statues, however, has activated people who say they want to “preserve” the monuments, arguing that it is “un-American” to remove them. Statues of Confederate heroes were not erected immediately after the war. The COVID-19 Vaccine is Available in Virginia. In many ways, the statues were meant to be a symbol of white supremacy. Houseless Residents Say They Were Evicted Without Warning in Richmond. The message: white men are in charge.". A damaged nearly century-old Confederate statue li A damaged nearly century-old Confederate statue lies on a pallet in a warehouse in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. While many statues have been up for years, … Meghan was also a reporter at National Journal, and her work has been featured on CSPAN, MSNBC, NPR, New York Times, and Washington Post. According to many historians, they were constructed with a very particular political agenda, something that should definitely be taken into account when debating their removal. In this moment of reckoning around the country, monuments to confederate heroes have also tumbled or been targets of vandalism, most of which were erected decades after the Civil War. In the past week, confederate statues have been in the spotlight. The COVID-19 Vaccine is Available in Virginia. Questions Remain in Police Shooting. What Will New Casino Bring to Norfolk, Pamunkey Tribe. Here's What You Need to Know. Rather, Confederate monuments were intended “to celebrate … the re-subjugation of the formerly enslaved and their progeny into the economic peonage and racial caste system of Jim Crow.” “African American communities do not have the luxury of having idealized views of the past or the present. 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