A War against the Confederate Monuments

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The New York Times yesterday reported about the way Confederate monuments are being torn apart in the United States. This is happening in city boulevards, public squares as well as near courthouses. To make the fight even more fierce, those against the Confederate monuments are taking their wars to the cemetery gates where monuments are also found. This is coming under the watch of local residents and administration officials who were not happy with the violence that was witnessed last month in Charlottesville Virginia. At the same time, many cities and towns are making pushes that will lead to the removal of Confederate monuments that promote soldiers affiliated with these movements. This has already happened in Los Angeles at a cemetery known as Hollywood Forever. Here, there was a six-foot monument made of gold that was removed by city officials in the middle of the night after activists protested against the monument. Also, the monument had already been sprayed with the word “No” at the back. This has also happened in Florida’s West Palm Beach where the mayor of Miami ordered city officials to take away a Confederate monument last month. Vandals decided to take matters into their own hands in Columbus, Ohio when they made off with a statue belonging to a Confederate soldier located in a cemetery. City officials could not address the situation accordingly.

Madison mayor Paul Soglin ordered the removal of a confederacy that had been situated in Hill Cemetery few days after Charlottesville violence. This happened to be a property that had been owned by the state for years and was located adjacent the University of Wisconsin. Reports from Wisconsin say that the city is deliberating on whether to remove other monuments in the city particularly those that are associated with Confederate soldiers. Moreover, the fact that this is happening in a liberal town like Madison is a clear indication of the campaign against the rise of white supremacists. This has led to objections from people who argue that cemeteries are not public places. However, a scholar from the University of California known as David Sloane says that these monuments mark the grave of a person. He feels that these memorials on cemeteries are quite different with the ones on public display. At the moment, there is a scheduled study to study a 1931 monument that honors a woman who took care of graves. The monument is said to have been built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. At the end of the study, the council will make a recommendation.

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