During the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd and racial injustice, Confederate monuments are increasingly becoming targets, with aone statue in Arlington, Virginia, removed Tuesday by its owner, another likely to be removed by the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, and others across the South targets of protest graffiti..
The Confederate soldier statue in Alexandria was removed from Old Town on Tuesday by its owner, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, according to the Washingtonian.
The statue has towered over the intersection of South Washington and Prince Streets since 1889, though the city has hoped to get rid of it since it stopped flying Confederate flags five years ago.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy’s building was also burned in the demonstrations in Richmond; the organization also said Monday that they plan to move a Bentonville, Arkansas Confederate statue from Bentonville Square to a private park in August, according to 4029 News.
On Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue, named for the number of Confederate monuments it hosts, statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Confederacy President Jefferson Davis were defaced: with a noose hanging from the Davis statue and “blood on your hands,” “black lives matter” and “no more white supremacy” written on the Lee one, per the Washington Post.
In other Southern states, Confederates statues—long subjects of tension—have been vandalized in the recent days of protest: demonstrators wrote “BLM” and “traitors” on a Charleston, South Carolina, confederate statue, while a Confederate monument at the State Capitol in North Carolina was marked with an X, according to MarketWatch.
A statue of a controversial newspaper publisher and lawyer who espoused racism was torn down by protesters on Saturday outside the Tennessee State Capitol, with a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of General Services saying that night nothing would be done about the statue, per the Tennessean.
On Monday, Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin said the city would take down (though doing so is technically illegal) a long-controversial Confederate monument by Tuesday after it was partially destroyed in protests and another monument was torn down by protesters.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy could not be reached for comment by Forbes, though they made this statement on their website in 2018: “We are saddened that some people find anything connected with the Confederacy to be offensive. Our Confederate ancestors were and are Americans. We as an Organization do not sit in judgment of them nor do we impose the standards of the 21st century on these Americans of the 19th century.”
Confederate statues have sources of tension and fierce debate. It came to a violent head in 2017 when white supremacists and other far-right groups protested the city’s decision to remove or relocate Confederate monuments, ending with one demonstrator driving his car into a counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman. Now, Charlottesville officials have resumed discussions to remove Confederate statues, according to the Daily Progress.
Alexandria’s Confederate Statue Is Gone (Washingtonian)