Confederate Monuments Are Coming Down Fast

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Day 87: Stay Safe Minnesota

Confederate monuments and other symbols of white supremacy & racism are coming down at fastest rate around the country during the past three-weeks of public protest.

In Politico Magazine opinion article, Rich Lowry writes: “In the wave of cancellations sweeping America, Confederate statues have been particularly hard hit. They have been graffitied, assaulted, and in some cases torn down, while state and municipal authorities rush to remove them. [..] The Confederate flag should be shunned, as a symbol of a viciously flawed cause.”

Secession was a traitorous act that threatened to destroy the American nation, to create a rump republic built on slavery, and to make impossible the subsequent rise of the United States to a world power. Its leaders don’t deserve to be given a place of honor in our landscape denied to worthier men. Confederate statues shouldn’t be vandalized, but they should be reconsidered.

Rich Lowry, Politico Opinion

In CNN, reporter Faith Karimi writes: “A controversial Confederate monument goes down in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. [..] Others statues removed this month include: A Confederate monument in downtown Norfolk and a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond (Virginia); In Louisville (Kentucky), the John Breckenridge Castleman monument, which is a statue of a Confederate soldier in the heart of downtown; Crews in downtown Jacksonville (Florida) took down a 122-year-old statue and plaque that honored fallen Confederate soldiers. Mayor Lenny Curry also announced that all Confederate monuments citywide will be removed; In Nashville (Tennessee) a controversial statue of Edward Carmack, a former US senator and newspaper owner known for attacking civil rights advocates like Ida B. Wells, was carried away from the city’s Capitol grounds.”

Writing for the CNN, Artemis Moshtaghian reports that “North Carolina governor orders removal of all Confederate monuments on capitol grounds. ‘I am concerned about the dangerous efforts to pull down and carry off large, heavy statues and the strong potential for violent clashes at the site. Monuments to white supremacy don’t belong in places of allegiance, and it’s past time that these painful memorials be moved in a legal, safe way’ said Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina.

In The Hill Blog, Marty Johnson writes: “Protestors in San Francisco on Friday toppled the statue of former President Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union Army during the Civil War, in Golden Gate Park. [..] Also torn down in the park on Friday were the statues of St. Junipero Serra and Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’.”

In Washington Post, columnist Theresa Vargas writes: “People are still fighting to keep Confederate statues standing. The question they are raising is a distraction from the one we should be asking. The removal of these statues is not about history, it’s about futures. Protesters are tearing them down across the country because they are fed up. They are tired of debating and discussing and waiting for people to show they are more invested in removing chains than honoring those figures who fought to keep others in them.”

Renaming Army Bases

In Washington Post, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and professor emeritus of history at West Point, Ty Seidule writes: “Ten Army posts named during World Wars I and II honor men who fought for the Confederate States of America against the United States of America. These men committed treason to create a country dedicated to human enslavement. The posts must be renamed — as should another, in Virginia, given what its name honors. But whom should the Army honor? The number of Army heroes over the course of the service’s 245-year existence is enormous.”

In Minnesota

In MPR News, Brandt Williams writes: “The Minnesota Twins announced Friday that the team has removed the statue of former owner Calvin Griffith from Target Field due to racist remarks he made more than 40 years ago. [..] The Twins also apologized for their “ignorance” on systemic racism.”

This note post is part of learning race & inequality in US series inspired by recent protests in US and around the world. Cover image source: Screenshot from MPR News.

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of June 20, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 32,467 (out of 492,043 tested) with 1,372 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of June 20, 2:30 p.m.) there are 2,241,023 confirmed covid19 infection with 119,475 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 8,735,394 with 461,786 deaths.