Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week that the state will remove as soon as possible a massive statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond.
The Lee statue is on state land. The mayor of Richmond is also making plans to remove statues of other Confederate generals on city property along the city’s Monument Avenue.
The news has been echoed to some degree in Arkansas with the deal reached to remove a Confederate memorial from the Bentonville town square to a private park.
That reminded Jacob Kauffman, now at the Arkansas Democratic Party, of an article he wrote several years ago for NPR about Confederate monuments in Arkansas.
Interesting how the Bentonville Confederate statue is a focal point. But these DIRECT APPEALS to continue the “Cause” on our state Capitol grounds are overlhttps://t.co/zCq16HqnC9
— Jacob Kauffman (@ArkansasJacob) June 4, 2020
It has surprised me, too, that as Black Lives Matter demonstrators have rallied five nights running on the Capitol grounds little has been said about the two Confederate monuments standing amid the protesters, police and militia.
And there’s also the Confederate memorial in the city of Little Rock’s MacArthur Park. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has spoken movingly from personal experience of understanding the difficulties black people have overcome and still face in an unequal world. He marched with demonstrators one night.
A white mayor in New Orleans stripped that city of Confederate statuary. The black mayor of Richmond is planning to do the same in what was once the capital of the Confederacy. An Indianapolis mayor is following suit.
Is it time for Little Rock?
Or Hot Springs, where a monument stands at the site of two lynchings?
Reference: the MacArthur park statue was paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and is a tribute to Company A of the Capital Guards.
A Confederate soldier statue stands at the northeast corner of the Capitol grounds. Another monument to the south pays tribute to the women of the Confederacy. The Arkansas Democratic Party called for the removal of the statues in 2017. The suggestion was ignored.