It’s the latest case of anti-Confederacy hysteria sweeping America: Now school officials in Texas may remove the name of Benjamin Franklin – an abolitionist and Founding Father who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – from a middle school over a “connection to Confederacy.”
WND has reported on the nationwide effort to remove Confederate statues and symbols from government grounds across America. Now Dallas Independent School District appears to be joining that movement with an investigation into the names of its schools.
Not even Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, is safe from scrutiny, despite the fact that both Franklin and Jefferson died decades before the South’s secession.
“This was just a very quick review of looking at the biographies of the individuals,” Dallas Independent School District chief of school leadership Stephanie Elizalde told trustees, according to the Dallas Morning News. “And if there was any association with Confederacy – not making a judgment for or against – just if we saw Confederacy named in it, we then highlighted it. We are now in the process of taking a second [look].”
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Trustee Dustin Marshall expressed serious concern over the inclusion of Franklin in the list of schools to be considered for renaming.
“I will not support a name change for Franklin since Benjamin Franklin clearly had many accomplishments that form the basis for why the school was named after him,” Marshall wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “I don’t believe this school was named after Franklin to send a signal of oppression and control.”
Like many men in their day, both Franklin and Jefferson were known to have owned slaves. But by the time of America’s founding, Franklin was outspoken in his condemnation of slavery, and he led the nation’s first abolitionist society.
Four of the Dallas-area schools that are currently scheduled to be renamed include:
- Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary School 2.
- William L. Cabell Elementary School 3.
- Stonewall Jackson Elementary School.
- Robert E. Lee Elementary School.
School officials are still determining what actions to take on the names of at least 20 more schools. A list obtained by the Dallas Morning News also includes Sam Houston, James Bowie, William Travis, U.S. President James Madison, James Gaston and William Brown Miller.
“The bright line distinction that we’re looking for here – and I absolutely want to avoid a slippery-slope situation – is not whether they were a general or a brigadier general, but whether the school was named in order to honor that individual specifically for their role in the Confederacy,” Marshall explained.
Meanwhile, in dozens of cities across the U.S., activists have been vandalizing and toppling Confederate monuments and symbols. They’re also pushing for cities, counties and states to destroy or relocate statues dating back more than a hundred years.
Leftist activists justified criminal acts due to an outbreak of violence at an August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other groups battled in the street with “antifa” and counter-protesters.
The rally was held in response to the Charlottesville City Council’s plan to remove a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. James Fields, 20, who attended the pro-monument rally, killed one and injured 19 when he rammed his car into a gathering of counter-protesters, who then responded by smashing in the car’s windows with bats.
On Sept. 15, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted to remove plaques honoring the Confederacy, the Washington Post reported. They also voted to ban open flames after white supremacists participated in a torchlight march before August’s violent rally.
WND has compiled the following big list of America’s endangered monuments and symbols:
Birmingham: Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument
The mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, William Bell, has ordered that a Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument be covered in plastic while the city examines its legal options for removal, WIAT-TV 42 reported Tuesday.
The 35-foot monument, which was gifted to the city in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, is located in Linn Park. Linn Park is named after Confederate Capt. Charles Linn, whose name appears on many of the city’s buildings.
In 2015, the city voted to look into removal of the statue after the murder of nine black church attendees at the hands of shooter Dylann Roof.
Bentonville: 2nd Lt. James Berry
A petition is calling for the removal of a Confederate statue honoring 2nd Lt. James Berry in Bentonville, Arkansas. Berry not only serves in the Confederate Army, he was also Arkansas’ 14th governor, elected in 1882.
The statue was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy more than a century ago.
Mayor Bob McCaslin told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he’s been getting many phone calls in support of keeping the statue.
Hollywood, California: Confederate memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery removed a six-foot monument commemorating Confederate veterans that has stood in the Confederate section of the cemetery since 1925. More than 30 Confederate veterans, along with their families, are buried there.
A Change.org petition calling for its removal drew more than 1,300 signatures, and the cemetery had been bombarded with phone calls and threats.
The granite boulder monument was vandalized the day before its removal, with someone using a black marker to write “No” across its bronze plaque.
San Diego, California: Jefferson Davis plaque
On Aug. 16, a plaque honoring Confederacy President Jefferson Davis was removed from Horton Plaza Park in San Diego, California, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“This morning, I ordered the immediate removal of a plaque honoring the Confederacy at Horton Plaza Park, said Mayor Kevin Falconer. “San Diegans stand together against Confederate symbols of division.”
The plaque was given to the city in 1926 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It was replaced three decades later.
“When I heard about the plaque, I texted Councilman [Chris] Ward and the mayor, and it was removed within a few hours,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the Times reported. “Glad it’s done.”
Chris Ward applauded the removal in a post on Facebook.
“Monuments to bigotry have no place in San Diego,” he wrote. “Thank you to the citizens of San Diego who highlighted this, and to City staff for their quick response to remove this symbol of hate.”
Tampa: ‘Memoria In Aeterna’
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are standing guard by a Confederate monument on the grounds of the historic county courthouse in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans learned that leftist activists had plans to topple the marble statue, known as “Memoria In Aeterna,” which depicts a Confederate soldier heading to war and another soldier returning home wearing a ragged uniform. On Aug. 13, 200 protesters marched through the streets in Tampa, and several climbed the monument.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans guards arrived hours after they heard of the statue toppled by protesters in Durham, North Carolina.
“Durham has given impetus to people who want to take them down,” David McCallister, commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Judah P. Benjamin Camp, told the Tampa Bay Times. “They won’t just let them get removed quietly and peacefully.”
The newspaper reported that McCallister said members of his group “heard a rumor that a busload of activists planned to arrive to pull down the monument with a cable.”
“The main thing was to keep watch and signal and alert the authorities if anything did happen,” McCallister explained. “It wouldn’t take much with a sledge hammer to basically crumble the soldiers, and I wouldn’t put it past the people who want it removed to do that. The soldiers themselves would be martyrs at that point.”
The men plan to stand watch over the monument through the night.
“Nobody’s going to try anything during the day,” McCallister said.
Gainesville: ‘Old Joe’
In Gainesville, Florida, crews removed a Confederate memorial on Aug. 14 that had been dedicated to men in the area who served in the Civil War and lost their lives fighting.
The statue, known as “Old Joe,” was removed from the grounds of the Alachua County Administrative Building and given back to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group that had the bronze monument constructed and erected in 1904.
Fort Meyers: Robert E. Lee portrait
Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann has called for a portrait of Robert E. Lee wearing his gray uniform to be removed from the Lee County Commissioners chambers in Fort Meyers, Florida. The portrait was dedicated on Jan. 19, 1931, on the 124th anniversary of Lee’s birth.
In its place, Mann proposes placing a portrait of Lee depicting his role as president of Washington College, which is now Washington and Lee University.
The leader of the local chapter of the NAACP celebrated the “compromise.”
“That is great step forward,” James Muwakkil, president of the Lee County NAACP, told the News-Press. “The taint of Mr. Lee is that Confederate uniform and what he did when he was in it; in a business suit, you see what he was later in his life.”
But Robert Gates, leader of the local chapter of the Sons of the Confederacy, said the move is an attempt to change U.S. history.
“When they dedicated it, there were still people alive whose ancestors fought on both sides,” he said. You can’t change history. If it was U.S. Grant up there, I wouldn’t say I would want him in his blacksmith outfit or his presidency uniform because he’s best known in his Union uniform.”
St. Petersburg: Stonewall Jackson plaque
On Aug. 15, a plaque honoring the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Highway was removed in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The bronze plaque was donated in 1939 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Mayor Rick Kriseman ordered its removal, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It has been taken to the Public Works Administration until the city can determine who owns it.
“The plaque recognizing a highway named after Stonewall Jackson has been removed and we will attempt to locate its owner,” Kriseman told the Times. “The plaque may not have elicited the same attention or emotions as the offensive statues and monuments that glorify the Confederacy, but that’s no reason for it to remain on public land and serve as a flashpoint in this national debate.”
Bradenton: Obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers
In August, officials in Bradenton, Florida, had a 22-foot granite obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers removed from display outside the Manatee County courthouse. The county commission voted to remove it “due to public safety concerns” and put it into storage until a new home could be found for it.
The removal crew accidentally broke the 8.5 ton obelisk into two pieces when it was being dismantled in the middle of the night.
West Palm Beach: Monument to Confederate dead
In West Palm Beach, Florida, the city removed a 10-foot-tall marble monument dedicated to the “memory of our Confederate Soldiers” at the Woodlawn Cemetery.
The city said it had asked the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the statue, to remove it. The monument has been at the cemetery since 1941.
“They haven’t done that, so we will do it for them,” Mayor Jeri Muoio said, the Palm Beach Post reported. “We sort of lost our patience.”
Muoio also blasted all Confederate monuments: “I believe strongly that they are symbols of hate and bigotry, and we don’t want that here in our city.”
On Aug. 23, members of antifa vandalized the monument, spray painting in red: “Antifa F— Nazis and KKK.”
Daytona Beach: 3 Confederate soldiers
A plaque honoring three Confederate soldiers were removed Aug. 18 from Riverfront Park in downtown Daytona Beach, Florida, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Two of the memorials were inscribed with the names of Confederate soldiers from east Colusia County. The third plaque, which was dedicated in 1961 by “Southern Citizens of Daytona Beach,” was attached to a monument for soldiers from all wars.
Orlando: ‘Johnny Reb’
A 106-year-old statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed “Johnny Reb” was removed July 4 from Orlando’s Lake Eola Park and moved to the Greenwood Cemetery, where Confederate soldiers were buried.
“(We’re) just trying to make sure that No. 1, it won’t offend. We are not facing toward any neighborhood we can offend. We are working really hard to make sure this statue just became a piece of history,” said Greenwood Cemetery Sexton Don Price, WFTV reported.
Decatur: ‘Lost Cause’ monument
Residents in Decatur, Georgia, are calling for removal of a Confederate monument in the downtown square, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Protesters gathered for a vigil there this week after the Charlottesville violence. And now an online petition is calling for removal of Decatur’s “Lost Cause” monument, which was erected in 1908 and is located near the historic DeKalb County Courthouse.
Activists plan to deliver the petition to city, county and state officials.
The petition states: “The statue refers to those listed on the monument as a ‘covenant to keeping race’ and thus, the statue serves as a shrine to white supremacists like those we saw in Charlottesville. If the city of Decatur and DeKalb County truly value diversity, then both entities will listen to its citizens and fight vigorously for the removal of this monument.”
Stone Mountain: Carving of Confederate faces
In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor, is demanding removal of a carving on Stone Mountain that features three Confederate war leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
“We must never celebrate those who defended slavery and tried to destroy the union,” Abrams said in several Aug. 15 tweets.
The state has a law saying the memorial should be “preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”
But one of Abrams’ Republican challengers, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, disagreed, noting that Georgia has taken “great strides” to offer an inclusive view of the Civil War.
“Instead of dividing Georgians with inflammatory rhetoric for political gain,” he said, “we should work together to add to our history, not take from it.”
Covington: Monument to Confederate war dead
In Covington, Georgia, resident Gene Willis has called for removal of a Confederate monument on the Covington square, which, he says, “reminds him of the evils of slavery,” the Rockdale Citizen reported.
“Ant to top it all off,” Willis said, “it has a Confederate flag on it. I think we have come to a time when that statue needs to come down.”
The monument was installed in 1906. A soldier stands atop a square column with his hands holding the muzzle of a rifle. The base features crossed rifles, crossed swords, an anchor and a Confederate flag. The text on the statue reads. “To the Confederate dead of Newton County” and states that it “mark[s] the tombs where valor lies.”
District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz said she understands the sentiments, but, she added: “I also understand that history cannot be erased. But the problem that I have with the monument is that we’re not really teaching about history. I think this is an opportunity for us to really teach the history. Now, there are two opportunities that we have. We can remove the monument and put the monument in a Confederate cemetery, which we have in this community. Or, we can take another step, and that is to use interpretative markers that are used in national parks and national monuments all over this country to really explain the history.”
Another commissioner suggested the county build an African-American history museum.
Then Chairman Marcello Banes explained that he’s been in deep prayer about the issue for months.
“I want everybody to really understand this. Ever since this has been going on, I want to tell you what the chairman does,” he said. “I get up and I come over here and walk around the square and pray. Newton County is not going to be place where blacks and whites are against each other. It’s just not.
“This room is not for that. This is not what Newton County is about. Our kids, they don’t need to see what eventually this is going to come to if it doesn’t stop.”
Banes continued: “We come here to handle the business of Newton County. I’m going to keep walking around every morning until this place becomes a place of peace. I’m praying for peace in this place.
“We’re not going to divide this county. We’re not going to divide this community. This is not [Charlottesville] Virginia. It’s not. And it’s not going to be Virginia. I don’t care who likes it or don’t like it, it’s not going to be Virginia.”
Chicago: George Washington and Andrew Jackson
A Chicago pastor called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to remove the names of two slave-owning U.S. presidents from parks in the city.
A bronze statue of President George Washington on horseback stands at the corner of 51st and King Drive, at the northwest entrance to Washington Park. A monument honoring President Andrew Jackson stands nearby in Jackson Park.
Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, suggests renaming Washington Park after former Mayor Harold Washington, and Jackson Park could be renamed after Rev. Jesse Jackson or singer Michael Jackson.
Dukes argues black people should be able to decide who is and is not honored in their communities.
“I think we should be able to identify and decide who we declare heroes in or communities, because we have to tell the stories to our children of who these persons are,” he told WBBM News Radio.
Chicago: Even Abraham Lincoln now under attack
Not even America’s beloved 16th president – who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 that freed the slaves – is safe from mayhem and destruction.
Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez says vandals torched a bust of Abraham Lincoln that stood in West Englewood for nearly 100 years. And Lopez places blame for the destruction squarely at the feet of President Trump.
He claims the president emboldened vandals in the “Land of Lincoln” when Trump blamed “both sides” for violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally, which left one woman dead and 38 injured.
“When you have a president who, from his point of moral authority as leader of the free world, condones the actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, people who believe in a segregated society – when he refuses to refute what their actions are – you embolden people to continue,” Lopez said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“They’re not being told what they’re doing is wrong. You inspire people to act on the anger and emotions that they’ve had in them and tried to hold inside. Now, you’re giving them a path to come out and be as anger-filled as they want to be.”
President Trump unequivocally and repeatedly condemned the “violence, bigotry and hatred” and called for national unity. But it still wasn’t enough for the mainstream media and leftist detractors. Despite the mishmash of extremist groups on the scene, the left and mainstream media demanded that Trump condemn the hateful actions specifically of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis. But nary a peep was said of Antifa’s role in the violence. On Monday, President Trump specifically condemned white supremacists. On Tuesday, Trump said: “I think there’s blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”
Meanwhile, a West Englewood resident disputed Lopez’s claims, saying he believes the damage to Lincoln was done early last month, when “people were out partying on the 4th of July and lighting fireworks off of it.
“It’s f—ed up, honestly,” Christopher Jackson told the paper. “You’d think people would appreciate it. They should appreciate it. Abraham Lincoln is Abraham Lincoln. He freed the slaves.”
But Lopez stuck to his claims and accusations: “I believe what happened to Abraham Lincoln wasn’t just a random act of violence,” he said. “It wasn’t just [plastered] with graffiti or tipped over. This was an intentional act to try to destroy this statue.”
Lexington: Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan & Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge
In Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Jim Gray said he will make an announcement next week concerning an effort there to remove two statues of Confederate figures – one of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and another of Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge, who was also the 14th vice president of the United States – from the grounds of a former courthouse.
Louisville: Confederate monument to Civil War soldiers
A 70-foot-tall granite and bronze Confederate monument at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, was removed in 2016 by the college. That statue was erected in 1895 by the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association to honor Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.
The Washington Post reported, “The school said it was an unwelcome symbol of slavery.”
The statue was relocated to a site in Brandenburg, Kentucky.
New Orleans: Gen. Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis & Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard
Four Confederate monuments have been removed in New Orleans and stored in a warehouse. The last, a 20-foot bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was removed in May 2017.
Other statues removed included one of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, another of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and a stone obelisk commemorating the “Battle of Liberty Place.”
The city council voted in 2015 to remove the monuments after Mayor Mitch Landrieu proposed that they be taken down. Landrieu made the proposal after gunman Dylann Roof murdered nine black church attendees in 2015.
Landrieu has said the monuments do not represent New Orleans.
“These statues are not just stone and metal,” he said, according to the New York Post. “They are not just remembrances of a benign history. These monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for.
“After the Civil War, these statues were part of that terrorism, such as burning a cross on someone’s lawn. They were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge of this city.”
Shreveport: Caddo Parish Confederate Monument
There’s now a movement in Shreveport, Louisiana, to remove a Confederate monument on courthouse grounds. The Caddo Parish Confederate Monument features busts of four Confederate generals – Gens. Henry Watkins Allen, P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson – and a statue of a soldier. It was dedicated in 1906 and marks the location where the Confederate flag was lowered on land.
Caddo County commissioners have held public hearings on plans to move the monument to a museum. An online petition to remove the monument has garnered more than 6,600 signatures.
The petition states: “It is time to take immediate action to remove this monument to slavery, sedition and racial oppression. Additionally, it is our assertion that this statue subverts and undermines our core principles of liberty and justice for all. It is unconscionable that anyone going to the courthouse, a place promising equal justice for all, should be forced to do so under a shadow of injustice and oppression.”
Baltimore: 4 monuments linked to Confederacy
Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight by city contractors, who used heavy machinery to load them onto flat bed trucks and haul them away.
The Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the immediate deconstruction of four monuments in the city.
The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Confederate Women’s Monument on West University Parkway, the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place and the Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell were removed under the cover of darkness.
Mayor Catherine Pugh, who made the decision, watched in person as the four statues linked to the Confederacy were torn from their pedestals.
“It’s very powerful, because her you have an African-American female mayor who made the decision to remove this statue… it’s very powerful, very symbolic,” one bystander told WJZ-TV.
“We’ve got a lot to do in the country, but this is a good start,” he continued. “At this moment I’m very proud of what the mayor did and I’m very proud of this city.”
Pugh said she acted quickly to prevent the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia. She once suggested the statues would eventually be placed in Confederate cemeteries elsewhere in Maryland.
Annapolis: Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney
Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch targeted a statue of former Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who ruled against Dred Scott in 1857, denying citizenship to black people. The statue, which was located in front of the statehouse, was removed at 2 a.m. on Aug. 18. Busch told the Baltimore Sun Monday that “it’s the appropriate time to remove it.”
Bush said he has “always considered Maryland’s State House grounds to reflect the evolutionary arch of history … the movement of our State over time toward a more perfect union.” But, he said, “we can find a better way to honor history while lighting a path toward progress, equality and understanding.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had echoed Busch’s request and said he would ask the State House Trust to “immediately” remove the monument, the Washington Post reported.
The leftist group Our Maryland launched a petition calling for the statue’s removal.
Baltimore: Jackson-Lee Monument
On Aug. 13, protesters called on Baltimore city leaders to remove the Jackson-Lee Monument, a Confederate symbol, at Wyman Dell Park near Johns Hopkins University.
The activists erected their own statue in front of the Jackson-Lee Monument. It depicted a pregnant black woman with her fist in the air and a child on her back, the Baltimore Sun reported.
A passerby pushed the protesters’ statue over. A photo posted to Twitter Tuesday by “Baltimore BLOC” showed the Jackson-Lee Monument with “Black Lives Matter” and “Remember C-Ville” (Remember Charlottesville) spray-painted on the sides.
Ellicott City: Stone honoring 92 Confederate soldiers
A Confederate monument dedicated in 1948 and bearing the names of 92 soldiers was removed from outside Howard County’s Circuit Court building in Ellicott City, Maryland.
County Executive Allan Kittleman and the county council discussed relocation of the monument to the Howard County Historical Society Museum, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Council Chairman Jon Weinstein told the paper the monument will not be destroyed. He said the council is attempting to find a more “appropriate” location for it.
“We need to put that sort of history into context and understand it but not revere it,” Weinstein said. “It is a monument. It is a representation of the fact that people in Ellicott City served in the Confederate army. We don’t have to be proud of that fact, but it is a fact.”
Councilman Calvin Ball said he wanted the monument moved immediately.
“The environment that we create going towards the halls of justice should be one of freedom, equality and fairness,” he said. “And monuments to the Confederacy do not convey that.”
Frederick: Bust of U.S. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney
A bust of U.S. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was removed from the grounds of city hall in March.
A crowd applauded as the bust was hauled away in the back of a pickup truck, the Baltimore Sun reported.
“To me, this was an embarrassment,” said Frederick Alderman Donna Kuzemchak, a Democrat. “I think this city put elected officials in place who saw the importance of getting rid of this.”
The bust was relocated to Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Rockville: Confederate soldier statue
Officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, ordered a 13-ton bronze Confederate soldier statue removed from the grounds of Rockville’s Red Brick Courthouse. The memorial depicts a young soldier with his arms folded and a saber at his side. The statue’s plaque states: “To Our Heroes of Montgomery Co., Maryland, That We Through Life May Not Forget To Love The Thin Gray Line.”
The monument was given to the county in 1913 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 2015, County Executive Isiah Leggett ordered it removed from the property.
“This statue is inaccurate because it pays tribute only to the Montgomery County young men who fought for the Confederacy, not also to those county residents who fought to preserve the Union and free those held in bondage,” said Leggett, the first black man elected to the city council and to become county executive.
After Leggett’s order, vandals defaced the monument with spray paint and a message stating, “Black Lives Matter.”
The county encased the statue in a wooden box after that incident. Earlier this year, it was moved to private property at White’s Ferry in Dickerson.
Boston: Plaque remembering Confederate prisons of war
Massachusetts’ only Confederate monument, which is outside Fort Warren on George’s Island, was covered in wooden boards on June 16. The governor’s office has said it supports the monument’s removal.
The marker faces Boston Harbor and is dedicated to Confederate soldiers who were held prisoner and died.
It states: “During the War between the States, 1861-1865, more than a thousand confederates were imprisoned here of whom thirteen died.”
“Gov. Baker believes we should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in our public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts,” spokesperson Lizzy Guyton told Boston Magazine. “Since this monument is located on a National Historic Landmark, the governor supports [the state Department of Conservation and Recreation] working with the Massachusetts Historical Commission to explore relocation options.”
St. Louis: Confederate Memorial is removed
In June, St. Louis, Missouri, officials removed a 32-foot granite and bronze Confederate memorial in Forest Park. The Missouri Civil War Museum paid for the relocation and will store it until a new location is found for the statue at a museum, battlefield or cemetery, Reuters reported.
“We wanted it down,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson during a livestreamed news conference in June.
The memorial, which was located on Confederate Drive, was dedicated in December 1914 by the Ladies Confederate Monument Association.
It features “The Angel of the Spirit of the Confederacy” over a family sending a soldier to war.
Reuters reported that the memorial had been repeatedly spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter” and “End Racism.”
Kansas City: Loyal Women of the South monument
On Aug. 25, 2017, Kansas City removed a United Daughters of the Confederacy monument at the group’s request. The monument to the Loyal Women of the Old South was donated to Kansas City in 1934. It was vandalized in August, and one resident had requested that it be removed.
The Daughters of the Confederacy asked for its removal after vandals spray painted it with a hammer and sickle.
Workers arrived to remove the monument with a chainsaw, and they cut it into 17 pieces. The heaviest piece weighed 15,000 pounds.
The chief of the dismantling crew told the Kansas City Star the removal is “causing a lot of hard feelings, like my feelings. … Are they going to quit teaching history?”
Helena: Confederate Memorial Fountain
Native American lawmakers sent a letter to Helena city officials claiming the Confederate Memorial Fountain in Hill Park stood for segregation and slavery. They asked that it be removed, and it was on Aug. 18.
It was given to the city in 1915 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and read, “A Loving Tribute to Our Confederate Soldiers.”
As the monument was removed, up to 20 protesters were on the scene. Police arrested two people who refused to leave.
Fort Hamilton: Gen. Lee Avenue & Stonewall Jackson Drive
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is demanding that the U.S. Army remove names of Confederate generals from street signs on the Fort Hamilton military installation in Brooklyn, New York. The streets are named General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive. Long before they were leaders of the Confederate Army, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson served at Fort Hamilton in the 1840s.
On Aug. 16, Cuomo tweeted: “I just asked the acting secretary of the @USArmy to remove confederate names from the streets of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.”
In a letter to acting U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Cuomo wrote: “Symbols of slavery and racism have no place in New York. Unlike President Trump, we stand together to say that there are not many sides to hatred and bigotry; thy do not belong in our communities and must be denounced for what they are. Renaming these streets will send a clear message that in New York, we stand against intolerance and racism, whether it be insidious and hidden or obvious and intentional.
An Army official explained that current policy states that the military streets are named “for a soldier who holds a place of significance in our military history. The great generals of the Civil War, Union and Confederate, are an inextricable part of our military history.”
On Aug. 7, the New York Daily News reported that the Army rejected demands from New York Congressmembers to remove the names.
“After over a century, any effort to rename memorializations on Fort Hamilton would be controversial and divisive,” Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Diane Randon wrote to Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. “This is contrary to the Nation’s original intent in naming these streets, which was the spirit of reconciliation.”
Clarke reportedly vowed to keep fighting for the name change.
“These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery,” she said.
On Aug, 16, Cuomo also announced that statues of Lee and Jackson will be removed from the City University of New York hall of great Americans.
The Bronx: Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson
Bronx Community College removed the busts of both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from its Hall of Fame for Great Americans on Aug. 17, the New York Post reported.
Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. had been fighting to remove the busts.
“It is needed, it is time and it sends a clear message that we are not going to tolerate the hatred that we’ve been seeing,” Diaz said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed with Diaz, saying the busts must be removed “because New York stands against racism.”
Bronx Community College President Thomas Isekenegbe promised that the university will replace the busts of Lee and Jackson with those of other historical figures that will create a “space where all people feel respected, welcomed and valued.”
Brooklyn: Robert E. Lee tree
The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island cut out two plaques honoring Robert E. Lee next to a tree the general planted on the grounds of a shuttered church.
One of the plaques had been placed outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1912.
“Given all of the circumstances that we as a nation have experienced over the past week and several months, … it became very clear to all of us that this reminder of the oppressive nature of a time in our history that really needs to be righted, should be removed from the church property,” said Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, the New York Post reported.
“No one should walk by here, particularly members of the African American community, [descendants] of those who were victims of slavery, should be reminded of this past” he said.
Durham: Main Street soldier
In Durham, North Carolina, an assembly of communist and socialist groups descended on a statue to Confederate war dead, attached ropes to the bronze figure, and tore the monument down.
Groups involved included the Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America, and Antifa, according to the Herald Sun. The statue, called the Main Street soldier, was dedicated in 1924 and bears the inscription “In memory of the boys who wore the gray.”
Sheriff’s deputies reportedly recorded the entire event, but did nothing to stop it.
The vandals began to kick and punch the statue, which broke into pieces after it slammed into the ground. Demonstrators then marched down the street, under the protection of police, who allowed them to block traffic. Durnham County authorities hardly even denounced the action, and only gave a lukewarm statement:
“We share the sentiments of many communities around the nation that admonish hate and acts of violence as we believe civility is necessary in our every action and response,” the public information office said.
The Durham police were initially just as tepid.
“Durham Police Department (DPD) officers monitored the protests that occurred in the city tonight to ensure the protests were conducted in a safe manner and that no infractions occurred within city jurisdiction,” police said in a statement.
“The DPD is aware that a Confederate monument was toppled at the old Durham County courthouse. Because this incident occurred on county property, where county law enforcement officials were staffed, no arrests were made by DPD officers.
“The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is the agency that has jurisdiction over all county buildings and landmarks. When monitoring such incidents the Sheriff’s Office is the decision-making agency regarding law enforcement response on matters concerning county property,” the statement concluded.
State law prohibits taking down these statues without the permission of state officials, according to the New York Post, so it appears the liberal Durnham county authorities simply allowed the mob to enact their agenda for them. While the Durnham County Sheriff’s Office did not stop the vandalism from occurring, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews announced a day later that investigators plan to identify the people who toppled the statue and bring criminal charges against them, Fox News reports.
Durham: Robert E. Lee at Duke University
Also in Durham, vandals destroyed the nose and face of a statue of Robert E. Lee that stood in front of Duke University’s chapel. Just days later, on Aug. 19, the monument was removed.
Claiming the decision to remove the Lee statue was due to the vandalism, Duke University President Vincent Price wrote in a letter to the Duke community: “I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university.”
He continued: “The removal also presents an opportunity for us to learn and heal. We have a responsibility to come together as a community to determine how we can respond to this unrest in a way that demonstrates our firm commitment to justice, not discrimination. to civil protest, not to violence; to authentic dialogue, not rhetoric; and to empathy, not hatred.”
Price also said the Lee statue “will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.”
Asheville: Vance Monument
There are growing calls to remove a 75-foot granite obelisk in Pack Square known as the Vance Monument in Asheville, North Carolina.
The monument, which was erected in 1896, is a tribute to Zebulon Vance, a Civil War governor of North Carolina and a U.S. senator during the Reconstruction period.
The monument resembles the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
Chapel Hill: ‘Silent Sam’
Another memorial targeted for removal is the 1913 “Silent Sam” statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The $7,500 for the monument was funded by UNC alumni and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
After the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence, protesters gathered around the statue and draped a banner over the monument that read, “Rest in Power: Heather Heyer,” memorializing a woman who was killed in Virginia after a man rammed a crowd of counter-protesters with his car.
A police officer attempted to stop a man from tying a rope around the statue’s neck, according to the campus newspaper, the Daily Tarheel. That’s when the crowd shouted, “this is speech” at the officer.
In 2015, the monument was spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter,” “KKK” and “murderer.”
UNC history professor Harry Watson told the Tarheel: “I used to feel movements to take down the monument would require more effort that it would be worth. But I’ve come to realize that symbols are important, and if enough people decided to take it down, I’d support it.”
Also that year, UNC Young Democrats political director Andrew Brennan told the paper: “It honors and celebrates white supremacy. To me, it doesn’t seem to have a place at UNC in 2015.”
Black Student Movement President Jeremy McKellar said the monument makes UNC students feel uncomfortable.
“Do we keep it because it’s the history of our nation, or do we tear it down because of what it represents? I’m still not sure what the answer is,” he said.
After Black Lives Matter spray-painted the statue, McKellar said: “I’m not a big supporter of vandalism, but it may have been needed to bring more attention to it.”
Greenville: Confederate Soldiers statue
Residents in Greenville, North Carolina, are circulating a petition demanding removal of the Confederate Soldiers statue at the Pitt County Courthouse, according to WITN-TV.
The monument, which was dedicated in 1914, states, “Erected by the people of Pitt County in grateful remembrance of the courage & fortitude of her Confederate Soldiers.”
The petition calling for its removal says: “We, the residents of Greenville, submit that the time has come for the removal of the Confederate statue at the courthouse. It is time to take immediate action to remove this monument to slavery, sedition and racial oppression. Additionally, it is our assertion that this statue subverts and undermines our core principles of liberty and justice for all. It is unconscionable that anyone going to the courthouse, a place promising equal justice for all, should be forced to do so under a shadow of injustice and suppression. The statue was dedicated in 1914, which that date itself should be reason enough as to why it is time for our community to move forward and leave the confederate memorabilia to museums and not in public spaces. We stand in solidarity with #Charlottesville and those who were injured and/or killed by white supremacists that marched on the city. We appeal to Pitt County Commissioners to outline and commit to a process for the timely and definitive removal of this monument.”
Activists say they will present their concerns to the Pitt County Commissioners at a meeting scheduled for Aug. 21.
Pitt County NAACP President Calvin Henderson said there’s a chance the Confederate statue will be removed and could “trigger off action all over the country.”
“This is 2017,” he told WITN. “We need to be moving forward, not backward. This is a step backward when you see this type of action [in Charlottesville, Virginia], to allow these extreme organizations to come in with that type of mentality.”
Franklin: Gen. Robert E. Lee
City officials in Franklin, Ohio, announced plans tear down a Confederate monument for Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“Recently, a monument ‘erected and dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends’ marking the Dixie Highway has become the subject of a great deal of attention for our small community,” a Franklin city official said, according to Talking Points Memo.
The Robert E. Lee monument was given to the city by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends in 1927.
“Our crews will remove the monument and return their property to (the Franklin Township’s) selected location forthwith,” said the city.
“Whether events of the past may have been celebratory or unpleasant, it is important that we remember the culmination of all such events is what has transpired and shaped this great nation, including Franklin Township,” stated township administrator Traci Stivers.
Worthington: Brig. Gen. Roswell Ripley
In mid-August, the town of Worthington, Ohio, removed a plaque marking the birthplace of Confederate Brig. Gen. Roswell Ripley, who helped ready Fort Sumter for the opening shots of the Civil War in 1861.
The plaque stood in front of a museum inside Ripley’s former home for 13 years.
A city official said the plaque was removed because Worthington “seeks to be a community that promotes tolerance, respect, and inclusion,” Fox 28 reported.
Keystone: Mount Rushmore
On Thursday, a tweet from VICE magazine stated, “Let’s blow up Mount Rushmore,” a national monument featuring the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
The tweet had been “liked” more than 250 times and retweeted 165 times at the time of this report.
Nashville: Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
In Nashville Monday, protesters called for removal of a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest at the state capitol, the Tennessean reported.
Protesters chanted “White silence is violence,” “Which side are you on?” and “Tear it down.”
The activists also marched to Gov. Bill Haslam’s office to push for removal of the bust.
“My position on this issue has not changed – I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol,” Haslam said in a statement, according to the Tennessean. “The General Assembly has established a process for addressing these matters, and I strongly encourage the Capitol Commission and the Historical Commission to act.”
Removal of the bust requires a two-thirds vote from the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Memphis: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis
The city of Memphis is threatening to sue Tennessee to remove two Confederate states from city property, according to Fox News. The city must get approval from the Tennessee Historical Commission.
The city is seeking to remove statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis. And the legal battle could go to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
“I think one thing that is for sure, there is no place in the city of Memphis for signs or symbols of hatred, bigotry or racism,” said City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement: “It’s great to see more citizens join the cause we’ve been working on for years. We continue to be actively engaged in exploring all avenues to remove the Confederate statues in our city.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans issued the following statement, according to Fox: “The city of Memphis should in no way want to remove statues and monuments to our history. These monuments are part of our development and both Jefferson Davis and Bedford Forrest were U.S. Army veterans as well as leaders in the Confederate States. Both lived in Memphis and contributed to its rebuilding and renewal after the War for Southern Independence. The city of Memphis should not play the part of ISIS historical terrorists in attempting to remove our historical monuments. Such actions are an insult to the families and citizens – and all veterans – of our city, county, state, and country. Leave the monuments and leave history alone.”
Chattanooga: Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a statue of Confederate Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart has been in the crosshairs of activists demanding its removal.
The local chapter of the NAACP has called for it to be taken down
“We find it offensive to be reminded constantly of the atrocities that they represent,” Quenston A. Coleman, second vice president of the Chattanooga branch of the NAACP, told WTVC in June.
Gloria Sweet Love, president of the Tennessee NAACP, told the station her group plans to ask commissioners to remove the statue.
WTVC reported, “If they don’t comply, they will take more action because ‘it’s time for these to come down.'”
The NAACP later issued a statement saying it wouldn’t actively push for the statue’s removal at this time.
Austin: 4 Confederate statues removed
At the University of Texas at Austin, four Confederate memorials were removed in August. UT Austin President Greg Fenves said the monuments were “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”
The statues honored Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, Confederate postmaster John H. Reagan and former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg.
Dallas: Gen. Robert E. Lee & Founders Cemetery monument
Dallas, Texas Mayor Mike Rawlings has called for a task force to review removal options for Confederate statues in the city. The task force will present its findings to the Office of Cultural Affairs, Fox 4 reported. Then they would be given to the city council, which would make a formal decision on whether to remove the monuments.
“It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and say tear them down because it is, frankly, politically correct and makes us all feel good,” he said. “But I hesitate. And the reason is, I realize the city of Dallas is better, stronger when we are united and not divided.”
The monuments are located in a historic cemetery near the Dallas Convention Center and in Robert E. Lee Park.
“I think they’re dangerous totems in our Dallas society because they divide us versus unite us,” Rawlings said.
Councilman Philip Kingston, who has called for a vote on the statue removal, told Fox 4: “If he’s convinced that these are symbols of racial propaganda, which I agree 100 percent, the path forward is pretty clear. Let’s make a policy statement on how we use public property.”
Rawlings expressed concern about major protests against the monuments that are scheduled for this weekend.
“We will not have street brawls in our city,” he said.
Houston: Spirit of the Confederacy statue
A group of activists is apparently plotting to tear down the Spirit of the Confederacy statue in Sam Houston Park in Houston, Texas. The bronze statue features an angel with a sword and a palm branch. It was erected in 1908 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and dedicated “to all heroes of the south who fought for the principles of states rights.
Black Lives Matter and other groups are reportedly planning a “Destroy the Confederacy” protest set for Aug. 19. The activists have collected more than 2,000 signatures on a petition demanding that the city remove the statue.
According to a Facebook post for the protest, attendees are being warned to leave their kids at home.
“Do NOT bring children,” it states.
This Is Texas Freedom Force, a pro-monument group that says it’s “committed to protecting Texas and Texas history,” says protesters are planning to destroy the statue and that there will be violence at the gathering.
San Antonio: Confederate soldier statue
Approximately 500 protesters attended a vigil for Charlottesville in San Antonio’s Travis Park on Aug, 13, and a monument for a Confederate soldier there was a subject of the rally, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
San Antonio Councilman Robert Trevino has called for removal of the statue.
“This is not an important art piece but a monument to power,” Trevino said. “It was put in to remind people of that power. It is an unfortunate message of hate, and we think it’s important to relocate it. We do think that history is important, so we’re looking for an appropriate location for it.”
Richmond: Confederate statues lining Monument Avenue
Amid calls for removal of Confederate statues, Richmond, Virginia, Mayor Levar Stoney has announced a different idea: add context to the monuments instead of removing them.
While Stoney said the monuments are “very offensive” to him, he explained: “Currently, as I’ve always said, since my remarks earlier on this year, the way those statues stand currently, they’re a shameful representation of the past that we all disagree with. For me, it’s about telling the complete truth. I don’t think removal of symbols does anything for telling the actual truth or changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.”
A pro-monument rally had been scheduled in August, but it was canceled in light of the Charlottesville violence.
Brag Bowling, of the Coalition for Monument Preservation, told WTVR: “I’m totally opposed to those groups that were in Charlottesville and the causes that they wanted. I’m here for preserving Richmond’s monuments, not to get in some racial fight with radicals.”
Lynchburg: George Morgan Jones
“The college has no connection to the Confederacy and, thus, the presence of a statue glorifying a Confederate soldier has no obvious place on our campus,” said President Bradley Bateman.
Randolph College said the statue will remain in storage until it determines how it can be displayed with “the proper context.”
Gen. Albert Pike
At least 1,000 protesters gathered outside the White House this week and then marched to a 1901 statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike, which is located near the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department headquarters.
The crowd booed and chanted “tear it down” in front of the statue. Some protesters climbed the statue.
On Monday, more protesters marched to the site with signs that said, “White Supremacy is Terrorism” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Eugene Puryear, an activist with Stop Police Terror Project D.C., said: “[Pike] is a guy who loved slavery so much that he quit two political parties. He wrote pamphlets about it. And then, when the Civil War started, he raised three regiments of troops. The Richard Spencers of the world, they want to invoke fear in people. They want people to fear their fascist movement. This [vigil] is a sign that people are not going to let that genie out of that bottle, that people are going to fight back.”
Destructive activists even attended to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., where red paint spelling out “F— Law” was found on a column on Tuesday.
Workers have begun to repair the damage, NBC Washington reported.
Removal of Washington and Jefferson monuments: ‘We’re even allowed to do that’
On Aug 16, “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. said even removal of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson monuments and statues is a proposal worth discussing.
“What is the statue there for, right? It’s there to inspire us. It’s there to teach us. It’s there to give us hope. And I think that’s why we erect them, right?” Odom asked.
“And so we decide as a community that this bronze, you know, commemoration is no longer doing that, if it’s no longer inspiring us, if it’s no longer making us feel great about ourselves, then they come down for a while or forever. You know, we can always, you can re-examine things in the future. But if a statue has to come down for a minute, we’re allowed to do that.
“We’re even allowed to do that with Thomas Jefferson and, you know, George Washington. We’re allowed to. They’re not off the table for discussion. I think it’s a great question.”
Madison: ‘Unsung heroes’ monument
The city of Madison removed a plaque from a cemetery that honored Confederate soldiers as “unsung heroes.”
“The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason and a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery,” Mayor Paul Soglin said. “The monuments in question were connected to that action, and we do not need them on city property.”
Charleston: Stonewall Jackson
At least 150 people in Charleston, West Virginia, called for removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson on the grounds of the state capitol on Aug. 13.
The crowd urged West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to take it down.
“I want people to know that hillbillies do not stand for this type of hate,” Dustin White told WSAZ. “this is an issue that has been laying under the surface for quite some time.”