Author Topic: Virginia (Race) Riot  (Read 13971 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2020, 12:28:50 pm »
Friday, 5th June 2o2o
Alabama City Removes Confederate Statue Without Notice
by Associated Press

(MOBILE, Alabama) — Alabama's port city removed a statue of a Confederate naval officer early Friday after days of protests over the police killing of George Floyd, with the mayor saying the monument was a “potential distraction” to focusing on the city's future.

The bronze likeness of Admiral Raphael Semmes, which stood in a middle of a downtown street near the Mobile waterfront for 120 years, had become a flash point for protest in the Gulf Coast city.

Vandalized during a demonstration this week and then cleaned by the city, it was removed overnight without any public notice.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2020, 02:29:58 pm »
Saturday, 6th June 2o2o

According to Representative Jennifer Wexton on Twitter, "Soon Virginia will take down another statue of robert e. lee. Last year, @RepMcEachin and I wrote @GovernorVA to begin the process to remove Lee's statue from our nation's Capitol.

That process is currently underway."
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 02:39:51 pm by Battle »

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2020, 11:40:44 am »
it's way past time to get rid of these confederate monuments. I wish I could see them all put on a huge barge, sent into the gulf of mexico and set on fire.
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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2020, 11:43:22 pm »
Monday, 8th June 2o2o
British slave trader statue pulled down in George Floyd demonstration
by DW

Protesters in the UK pulled down the state of a infamous slave trader and threw it in a harbor on Sunday, the second day of global weekend demonstrations against the death of an American man at the hands of the police.

"Today I witness history," William Want tweeted from the city of Bristol.

"The statue of Edward Colston, a Bristol slave trader, was torn down, defaced, and thrown in the river. #BlackLivesMatter."

Footage of the event shot by witnesses showed a crowd of a few dozen people as they tied a rope around the neck of the statue before pulling it to the ground.

They then carried it to the harbor, where protesters shoved it into the water, where it sank.

The statue's face had been smeared with red paint.

According to police reports, around 10,000 people attended Bristol's Black Lives Matter demonstration on Sunday.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel called the act "utterly disgraceful."

"That speaks to the acts of public disorder that actually have now become a distraction from the cause which the people are actually protesting about," Patel told Sky News.

Labour Party lawmaker Clive Lewis tweeted support for the statue's removal.

"Someone responsible for immeasurable blood & suffering. We'll never solve structural racism till we get to grips with our history in all its complexity. #BLM," he wrote.

In 1680, Colston started working for the Royal African Company, a mercantile company with a monopoly on the West African slave trade.

At that time, the company was transporting around 5,000 enslaved Africans a year.

Colston went on to develop a reputation as a philanthropist in Bristol.

Protesters around the globe have turned their frustrations towards controversial statues.

On Saturday, protesters in the United States brought down a statue of a Confederate general in Richmond, Virginia.

Such statues are a flashpoint of controversy in the US.

A small group of protesters pulled down the statue of General Williams Carter Wickham, erected in 1891.

In 2017, some of Wickham's descendants had called for the statue to be removed.

A city in the US state of Michigan on Friday chose to remove a controversial monument to the city's longest-serving mayor after the protests reignited calls for its removal.

A crew removed the statue of Orville Hubbard, a polarizing figure who supported segregationist policies and made racist comments throughout his 35-year tenure as the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, a post he held until 1977.

The statue had become a "divisive symbol rather than a unifying one," a city spokeswoman said.

Video footage on social medial showed protesters in Brussels on Sunday as they gathered are a statue of former King Leopold II.

Leopold is said to have overseen the death of 10 million Congolese people.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #49 on: June 08, 2020, 01:20:08 pm »
Monday, 8th June 2o2o
Louisville removes the Castleman statue!
by Ryan W. Miller

(LOUISVILLE, Kentucky) — After roughly 107 years, the statue of confederate traitor John B. Castleman came down in Louisville's Cherokee Triangle Monday morning.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has supported removal of the statue for several years, saying that Castleman's ties to the confederacy serve as a relic of hate.

And after weeks of protests over the fatal police shootings of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, Fischer said now is an especially poignant time to remove a divisive statue.

"The events of the past weeks have shown clearly that it’s not enough just to face our history — we’ve got to address its impact on our present," Fischer said in a statement Monday.

"Too many people are suffering today because the promises of justice and equality enshrined in our Constitution are unfulfilled by a society that devalues African-American lives and denies African Americans justice, opportunity and equity," he continued.

"That’s got to change. People want and deserve action. We need a transformation.”

According to the city, the plan is to place the statue at Cave Hill Cemetery, where Castleman is buried.

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Offline Battle

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2020, 03:21:48 pm »
Monday, 8th June 2o2o (originally published Sunday, 20th August 2017)
Confederate Statues Were Built To Further A 'White Supremacist Future'
by Miles Parks

As trunk doubled down on his defense of confederate statues and monuments this week, he overlooked an important fact noted by historians:

The majority of the memorials seem to have been built with the intention not to honor fallen soldiers, but specifically to further ideals of white supremacy.

More than 30 cities either have removed or are removing confederate monuments, according to a list compiled by The New York Times, and trunk said Thursday that in the process, the history and culture of the country was being "ripped apart."

Groups like the sons of confederate Veterans defend the monuments, arguing they are an important part of history.

One of the leaders of that group, Carl V. Jones, wrote a letter on August 14th condemning the violence and "bigotry" displayed in Charlottesville, but he also denounced "the hatred being leveled against our glorious ancestors by radical leftists who seek to erase our history."

That letter to "compatriots" was signed the day before trunk's raucous press conference, in which he also cast blame on what he called the "alt-left" — comments for which he faced criticism from business leaders, nonprofits and members of his own party, among others.

Yet many historians say the argument about preserving Southern history doesn't hold up when you consider the timing of when the "beautiful" statues, as trunk called them, went up.

"Most of the people who were involved in erecting the monuments were not necessarily erecting a monument to the past," said Jane Dailey, an associate professor of history at the University of Chicago.

"But were rather, erecting them toward a white supremacist future."

The most recent comprehensive study of confederate statues and monuments across the country was published by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year.

A look at this chart shows huge spikes in construction twice during the 20th century: in the early 1900s, and then again in the 1950s and 60s.

Both were times of extreme civil rights tension.

In the early 1900s, states were enacting Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise Black Americans.

In the middle part of the century, the civil rights movement pushed back against that segregation.

James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, says that the increase in statues and monuments was clearly meant to send a message.

"These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy," Grossman said.

"Why would you put a statue of robert e. lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?"

Grossman was referencing the four statues that came down earlier this week in the city.

After the violence in Charlottesville, Va., when a counterprotester was killed while demonstrating, and the action in Durham, North Carolina, where a crowd pulled down a confederate statue themselves, the mayor of Baltimore ordered that city to remove its statues in the dead of night.

"They needed to come down," said Mayor Catherine Pugh, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

Thousands of Marylanders fought in the Civil War, as NPR's Bill Chappell noted, but nearly three times as many fought for the Union as for the confederacy.

Still, in 1948, the statues went up.

"Who erects a statue of former confederate generals on the very heels of fighting and winning a war for democracy?" writes Dailey, in a piece for HuffPost, referencing the just-ended World War II.

"People who want to send a message to black veterans, the Supreme Court, and the president of the United States, that's who."

Statues and monuments are often seen as long-standing, permanent fixtures, but such memorabilia take effort, planning and politics to get placed, especially on government property.

In an interview with NPR, Dailey said it's impossible to separate symbols of the confederacy from the values of white supremacy.

In comparing robert e. lee to presidents george washington and thomas jefferson on Tuesday, trunk doesn't seem to feel the same.

Dailey pointed to an 1861 speech by Alexander Stephens, who would go on to become vice president of the confederacy.

"[Our new government's] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man," Stevens said, in Savannah, Georgia.

"That slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition."

To build confederate statues, says Dailey, in public spaces, near government buildings, and especially in front of court houses, was a "power play" meant to intimidate those looking to come to the "seat of justice or the seat of the law."

"I think it's important to understand that one of the meanings of these monuments when they're put up, is to try to settle the meaning of the war" Dailey said.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2020, 01:09:24 pm »
Tuesday, 9th June 2o2o
Confederate Statues Are Coming Down Across The U.S., From Virginia To Indiana To Kentucky
by Morgan Winsor and Emily Shapiro

The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck as three other officers stood by, has sparked widespread outrage, anti-racist protests and calls for police reform across the United States and around the world.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers after video of the incident surfaced.

The officer who prosecutors say pinned Floyd down for nearly nine minutes, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The three other officers each have been charged with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder as well as second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter.

In the wake of the George Floyd protests, officials from Richmond to Indianapolis to Louisville have decided to remove local Confederate statues.

And around 4 a.m. Tuesday, city crews in Jacksonville, Florida, started removing a confederate statue that had been in the city park since 1898, reported First Coast News, an ABC Jacksonville affiliate.

Later in the day Tuesday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced that all confederate statues in the city will be taken down.

"My staff will work with the Jacksonville Cultural Council to convene experts in history and art to ensure we acknowledge our past in a full and complete way," Curry said.

"A way forward that leaves no person’s heritage or experience behind."
On Monday, the University of Alabama announced that it will remove its three plaques that commemorate the university students who served in the confederate Army and those who defended the campus.

There are also 10 Army installations named after confederate leaders, including Fort Lee in Virginia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

"The Secretary of the Army is open to a bi-partisan discussion," about renaming Army bases named after confederate military leaders, Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith told ABC News on Monday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is also "open to a bi-partisan discussion," an Army official confirmed to ABC News on Monday.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2020, 03:37:48 pm »
Tuesday, 9th June 2o2o
Hundreds of Protesters Demand University of Oxford Removes Statue

by Basit Mahmood

Hundreds of people have gathered outside a University of Oxford college to demand the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes be removed.

The protesters have gathered outside Oriel College chanting "de-colonize" and for the statue to be taken down.

Protesters say Rhodes, who was a 19th century businessman, politician and committed imperialist in Southern Africa, represented white supremacy and is steeped in colonialism and racism.

It comes after demonstrators tore down the statue of a slave owner in the city of Bristol during a recent Black Lives Matter protest.

The statue of Edward Colston, a 17th century slave trader, was thrown into a harbor, in a move condemned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who described it as a "criminal act".

A group of Oxford councilors has also backed the campaign, with 26 city councilors saying that the figure at Oriel College was "incompatible" with the city's "commitment to anti-racism".

Shaista Aziz tweeted:

"I'm one of 26 Oxford City councilors renewing calls for @OrielOxford @UniofOxford to remove #CecilRhodes statue from our High Street."

"We call on the University to work with @OxfordCity, residents, trade unions, to make Oxford a truly anti-racist city."

A statement from Oriel College's governing body said the college abhorred racism and discrimination in all its forms.

The statement said:

"Oriel College abhors racism and discrimination in all its forms. The Governing Body are deeply committed to equality within our community at Oriel, the University of Oxford and the wider world."

"As an academic institution, we aim to fight prejudice and champion equal opportunities for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or faith. We believe Black Lives Matter and support the right to peaceful protest."

"The power of education is a catalyst for equality and inclusiveness. We understand that we are, and we want to be, a part of the public conversation about the relationship between the study of history, public commemoration, social justice, and educational equality. As a college, we continue to debate and discuss the issues raised by the presence on our site of examples of contested heritage relating to Cecil Rhodes."

"Speaking out against injustice and discrimination is vital and we are committed to doing so. We will continue to examine our practices and strive to improve them to ensure that Oriel is open to students and staff of all backgrounds, and we are determined to build a more equal and inclusive community and society."

It comes after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ordered a review into all statues in the capital for their links to slavery, with the hope of removing those found to be involved in the slave trade.

"I'm all in favor of our city reflecting the values we have but also the diversity we have," he told the BBC's Today program, as the mayor launched The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, a review of the city's landmarks.

This will include not only statues but also street names, murals, street art and other memorials, before making recommendations.

"There are some statues that are quite clear cut: slavers, are clear cut in my view, plantation owners are quite clear cut," Khan said.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2020, 01:21:16 am »
Wednesday, 10th June 2o2o
Statues of confederate figures & slavers come down
by Meredith Deliso and Ivan Pereira

After years of civil rights activists calling for the removal of confederate monuments, they're falling like dominoes amid nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody.
On Monday evening, the University of Alabama announced that it will remove three plaques that are dedicated to Confederate soldiers who attended the school.

The plaques will be placed in an "a more appropriate historical," setting, according to the school.

The school will also convene a group from its board of trustees to review all of the names put on campus property and bring forth recommended changes.

"The final decisions regarding those recommendations will be made by the full Board of Trustees at a public meeting, at a time to be announced," the school said in a statement.
Hours later, the bronze topper of the confederate monument in Hemming Park in Jacksonville, Florida, was removed early Tuesday morning.

Around 4 a.m., without notice, crews used cranes to take down the statue of the Jacksonville Light Infantry that has been in the park since 1898.

Later in the afternoon, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced all confederate memorials in the city would be removed.

"If our history prevents us from reaching the full potential of our future, then we need to take action," he said during a news conference.

The removals followed announcements last week that Confederate monuments would be taken down from sites in Indianapolis, Richmond and Alexandria, Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

The statues, which honor soldiers and leaders on the losing side of the Civil War, are seen by many as symbols of racism and oppression.

That's why the statue of General robert e. lee in Richmond, the capital of the confederacy, should be removed, Gov. Ralph Northam said last Thursday.

"The legacy of racism continues, not just in isolated incidents," Northam said.

"The legacy of racism also continues as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives."

Those protesting Floyd's death and police brutality had gathered at the statue last week, chanting,

"Tear it down!"

But Northam's plan hit a roadblock on Monday after a Richmond Circuit Court judge issued a 10-day injunction against the removal following a complaint from the statue's supporters.

Alena Yarmosky, Northam's spokeswoman, said the governor is reviewing the order.

"Governor Northam remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia’s capital city, and we’re confident in his authority to do so,” she told the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Northam acknowledged that many residents won't support removing the robert e. lee statue, which was erected in 1890.

"I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way," said Northam, who signed legislation authorizing localities to remove confederate statues in April.

"When we learn more, when we take that honest look at our past, we must do more than just talk about the future -- we must take action."

The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, a descendant of robert e. lee, said he fully supports the monument's removal.
"We have a chance here today ... to say this will indeed not be our final moment and our final stand," Lee said at a press conference last Thursday.

"There are more important things to address than just a statue, but this statue is a symbol of oppression."

Meanwhile, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett acknowledged the current protests in his decision to remove a monument dedicated to confederate soldiers who died at a prison camp.
"Our streets are filled with voices of anger and anguish, testament to centuries of racism directed at Black Americans," he wrote on Twitter.

"We must name these instances of discrimination and never forget our past -- but we should not honor them."

The grave monument was commissioned in 1912 and relocated to Garfield Park in 1928 following efforts by public officials active in the ku klux klan to make it more visible, Hogsett said.

"Whatever original purpose this grave marker might once have had, for far too long it has served as nothing more than a painful reminder of our state's horrific embrace of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago," the mayor said.

"For some time, we have urged that this grave monument belongs in a museum, not in a park, but no organization has stepped forward to assume that responsibility. Time is up, and this grave marker will come down."

If the injunction is lifted, the Richmond monument could join the fate of an Alexandria monument honoring confederate soldiers that came down last week.

"Some said this day would never come," Alexandria City Councilman John Chapman said on Facebook last Tuesday.

"The confederate statue at Appomattox is starting to be taken down. We, our community made this happen."

A Confederate monument in a Birmingham, Alabama, park was also removed last week after it was damaged in weekend protests, local ABC News affiliate WBMA reported.

Confederate monuments in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina, also will soon be taken down.
In Philadelphia, a target of protesters also came down last week.

The controversial statue of former mayor Pete Rizzo near City Hall was removed on Wednesday, following vandalism.

Many saw the statue of the former police commissioner as a symbol of police brutality.

"The statue represented bigotry, hatred, and oppression for too many people, for too long," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said on Twitter.

"It is finally gone."

In the wake of the statue's removal, a mural of Rizzo in the city's Italian Market was also painted over on Sunday.

It was not just in the United States that statues that symbolized racism were taken down.

In Bristol, United Kingdom, protesters tore down a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston on Sunday.

The protesters dragged the statue through the streets and then threw it into the river.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2020, 09:58:17 pm »
Thursday, 11th June 2o2o
christopher columbus statues torn down, drenched in paint, defaced in cities across country

by Michael Ruiz

They hacked off his head in Boston, threw him in a lake in Richmond, Virginia, drenched him in red paint in Miami, and dragged him down from his pedestal in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Protesters in cities around the United States have been tearing down, defacing and otherwise vandalizing statues of christopher columbus as an offshoot of the protests over George Floyd's murder.

In St. Paul, news crews stood just a few feet away recording video as protesters tied a rope around a statue and pulled it down from its base at the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday.

A group of demonstrators had promised earlier in the day to tear down the statue, Minneapolis-based Fox 9 reported.

After tying a rope to the statue and dragging it down, the protesters reportedly danced and spit on it.

Video shows one man posing for news cameras with his foot on the back of the statue’s head.

In Boston, police opened an investigation Wednesday after the namesake statue in the city’s christopher columbus Park was beheaded overnight.

Photos from the scene show the statue surrounded in police tape and columbus’ head on the ground next to an evidence marker.

In downtown Miami, a columbus statue had its head and face painted red, according to images posted on Twitter by WSVN reporter Franklin White.

There was also graffiti along the base that included “George Floyd,” “BLM” (Black Lives Matter), and depictions of a hammer and sickle.

And in Richmond, where a judge on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction against the removal of a statue of confederate Gen. robert e. lee, protesters pulled down a columbus statue, lit it on fire and then tossed it into Fountain Lake.

During that incident -- which reportedly followed a peaceful protest for indigenous people -- the statue’s base was also spray painted and someone left a cardboard sign on top of it that read:

“columbus represents genocide.”

columbus was an Italian Renaissance-era explorer who led the expedition that preceded the European colonization of North and South America -- and, as a result, he has been both celebrated and denounced as a historical figure.

There is also a movement that calls for the replacement of columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

Nationwide push to remove confederate symbols

As cities and organizations across the country continue to take down monuments, memorials and other symbols of hate, one controversial historical figure has come back into the spotlight:

christopher columbus.

While the debate over the controversial European explorer reignited, some of his opponents have already taken bold action to his memorials.

On Tuesday night, a columbus statue in Richmond, Virginia, was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then submerged into a lake, police said.

Overnight Tuesday, another columbus statue in Boston was decapitated, according to Boston police.

In New York City, columbus's opponents are re-upping their calls to the city to remove the 14-foot marble statue that stands above a pedestal in columbus circle outside Central Park.

Melissa Iakowi:he'ne' Oakes, the executive director of the nonprofit American Indian Community House, said now is the right time to remove the 128-year-old statue, because the city did not need a monument to a figure who had a history of destroying and enslaving indigenous people.

"I think with everything that is going on now … I don’t see why (the city) would have an argument against keeping the christopher columbus statue," she told ABC News.

Proponents for the statue acknowledge that columbus' history was far from the heroic, noble explorer portrayed in some history books; however, they said the history behind the New York statue is more nuanced.

Richard Alba, a distinguished professor of sociology at the Graduate Center of CUNY, who was part of a special commission that reviewed controversial monuments in New York City, noted that the New York statue was erected mostly to honor Italian Americans persecuted during the 19th century.

"The history of that statue is different from the confederate statues of the south, which were put up to symbolize the triumph of whites over blacks in the south," Alba told ABC News.

Experts say that the future of the New York statue and other columbus monuments will have to have some changes to educate the public on the figure's nuances and help people understand the nation’s history.

In 2018, after the monument commission turned in its report, de Blasio ordered that new signage be placed around the statue that explained columbus's history and the specific history behind the monument.

A spokeswoman for the mayor reiterated that the city decided not to remove the columbus statue based on the commission's report and will work on other measures to "add context to the monument and honor Indigenous Peoples."

Oakes said for her and other indigenous Americans, that wasn't enough.

Having a tall statue of columbus look down on the community from a 27-foot pedestal is degrading, even if there is signage describing his history, according to Oakes.

"They don’t care, and they don’t accept it," she said.

Alba, who said he supports the removal of confederate statues across the country, said that he and other commission members listened very carefully to the statue opponents and acknowledged their concerns.

In the end, the commission contended that the best move forward was to supplement columbus' monument with new memorials of diverse historical figures.

"I think, again, our monuments have to represent our diversity, and part of that diversity is Italian Americans who came in as the most disparaged of those European groups," Alba said.

In 2018, the city removed a statue of J. Marion Sims, a 19th-century surgeon who conducted experimental operations on enslaved females, from Central Park, following the commission's report.

It also has plans to erect statues of minority women figures including Representative Shirley Chisholm and Billie Holiday, based on feedback from New Yorkers.

Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University, said statues of historical figures are problematic for educational purposes since most classical statue designs are made to glorify the figure.

In columbus's case, the statues on their own do not help with the debate about the explorer's complicated legacy to indigenous and Italian Americans.
"We don’t have a good public record of dealing with our history thoughtfully and engagingly," Cornell told ABC News.

"A statue is a very specific form of the past."

Cornell said such memorials could be instructive if they are in a setting like a museum that is filled with historical literature that paints a full picture to the public.

He suggested that cities with columbus statues bring all the stakeholders together and work out a solution.

As for the reports of vandalism of other columbus statues, Cornell noted that this type of protest has been going on throughout history, especially when figures are revealed to be less than heroic.

He said those who own those columbus memorials should address the concerns from the public and work quickly on a solution for all parties.

"History is a powerful wave and those who try to hold it back will be crushed," Cornell said.

"The question is how do you control the wave so that it has positive results and not destructive results."

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2020, 12:38:17 pm »
Thursday, 11th June 2o2o
Stone Mountain and other monuments to the confederacy should be wiped clean
by George Shepard

In last week's memorial service for George Floyd, the Reverend Al Sharpton noted that the recent demonstrations against abusive policing were caused not just by Floyd's death after a white officer kneeled on his throat.

Instead, it was the last straw after centuries of oppression.

Mr. Sharpton noted,

"Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck."

One weapon to suppress African Americans: monuments to white supremacists.

Soon after the Civil War, Southern whites began reasserting their dominance.

During the following 80 years of jim crow segregation, their methods included glorifying confederate leaders.

Most of the large monuments began to appear in the early 20th Century, long after the war ended in 1865.

The goal was not to preserve "Southern heritage," as the monuments' defenders now claim.

Instead, the goal was to install white-supremacist icons that would intimidate African Americans and enforce whites' supremacy.

Historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, for example, has written that the monuments "were sometimes explicitly linked to the cause of white supremacy by the notables who spoke at their dedication" and that white industrialist Julian Carr "unambiguously urged his audience to devote themselves to the maintenance of white supremacy with the same vigor that their confederate ancestors had defended slavery.

The history of the giant carvings on Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, is instructive.

Planning of the carvings began only in 1914.

Substantial funding for the project came from the KKK, which met on the mountain's top to burn crosses and the project's first directors and promoters were Klan members.

The original plan was to depict General robert e. lee leading Confederate soldiers and Klan members up the mountain.

Many other confederate monuments were erected during this period, helping consolidate jim crow's racist hierarchy.

A second wave of white-supremacist monuments appeared in the late 1950s.

After the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in 1954, Southern states vowed a program of "Massive Resistance."

Part of the resistance was installing more white-supremacist icons.

This was when the State of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain; finished the huge carvings -- bigger than the presidents on Mount Rushmore -- of two confederate military leaders, stonewall jackson and lee, and the political leader, jefferson davis; and added the confederate battle flag to Georgia's state flag.

Like so many confederate monuments, the carvings on Stone Mountain were not an innocent artifact of Civil War history.

Instead, they were a middle finger both to African Americans and to the federal government that was trying to end discrimination.

Stone Mountain was such an evil icon that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. invoked it in his "I Have A Dream" speech.

Statues and monuments have always carried great symbolic weight.

When UK protesters demonstrating against Floyd's killing dumped a statue of a 17th-century slave trader in the sea on Sunday, they were following the examples of activists who pulled down statues of Joseph Stalin in Russia; Saddam Hussein in Iraq and British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes in South Africa and the UK, among others.

In the US, the Stone Mountain carvings continue to be shrines to white supremacy.

To walk up the mountain, an African American must bear the indignity of passing the Confederate stone giants, driving along robert e. lee Blvd. past Stonewall Jackson Drive, parking next to confederate Hall, and marching past four different confederate flags, including the stars-and-bars battle flag,at this state park.

Part of the cost of admission to Stone Mountain's laser show is prostrating yourself on a picnic blanket at the feet of the Confederate colossi.

A country that is serious about moving beyond its evil history would behave differently.

In Germany, many government buildings from the 1930-40s have smudges on their fronts.

These are the places where the swastikas, all of them, have been removed.

German towns no longer contain Hitler Street or Goring Plaza.

All of the statues of Hitler and his henchmen have been destroyed.

Germans have rejected arguments that Nazi symbols, street names, and statues should be preserved for purposes of German history and heritage.

The same is true even of the Berghof, Hitler's mansion in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, where he spent much of World War II, and where he met many historical figures.

After the war, the building was destroyed to avoid it becoming a Nazi shrine.

The same with the Fuhrer Bunker in Berlin, where Hitler died.

The site is now a parking lot.

German government policy is that the country's only monuments marking the Nazi era are not to the perpetrators, but to the victims.

As one walks through German cities, one encounters "Stolpersteine": markers the size of small paving stones that memorialize the stories of Holocaust victims who lived there.

This is how it should be:

memorials should exist for evil's victims, not for evil's perpetrators.

A country cannot begin to cleanse itself of evil while maintaining shrines to those who committed it.

As in Germany, all confederate monuments should be removed.

Ideally, they should be removed by state and local governments, not demonstrators; if governments remove them, rather than protestors, society's rejection of the monuments and the evil that they represent is clearer.

The removals would follow the recent lead of cities such as Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Alabama and Richmond.

African Americans should not have to encounter each day the equivalent of state-endorsed swastikas.

Museums should be established not to explain the Stone Mountain carvings and other confederate memorials, but instead to explain the scar on Stone Mountain that will exist after the images of the white-supremacist leaders are blasted away.

Like the Vietnam memorial in Washington, D.C., an apt memorial for the confederacy is a scar, not an heroic statue.

True healing will begin only when the pressure of racist monuments is removed from African Americans' necks.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2020, 11:55:14 am »
Monday, 15th June 2o2o
Rio Arriba County Takes Down Colonizer Monument
by Molly Montgomery

(New Mexico) - Rio Arriba County crews on Monday morning began removing the monument to Spanish colonizer Don Juan de Ońate in Alcalde.

Organizers and community members still plan to hold a demonstration for its removal today at 4 p.m. at the County’s Ońate Monument Resource and Visitors’ Center in Alcalde.

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2020, 01:09:41 am »
Wednesday, 17th June 2o2o
Columbus statue taken down in Tower Grove Park in St. Louis
by Kim St Onge, Kim Bell, Valerie Schremp Hahn and Erin Heffernan

(ST. LOUIS, Missouri) – The statue of Christopher Columbus was taken down in Tower Grove Park Tuesday after years of controversy.

The statue used to be the first thing you saw when you entered the park.

It stood in the park for over 140 years.

A bronze statue of Christopher Columbus erected in Tower Grove Park in 1886 was taken off its pedestal and removed Tuesday at the direction of the park’s Board of Commissioners, making St. Louis the latest of several U.S. cities to contend with controversial monuments this month amid national protests for racial justice.

The statue on Main Drive near the east entrance to the park had survived years of vandalism and several protests calling for its removal by activists concerned with the Italian explorer’s mistreatment of indigenous people.

Crews used a crane early Tuesday to carefully remove the statue and load it onto a truck, leaving only its stone base marked with fading graffiti.

“By taking this action, Tower Grove Park reaffirms its commitment to being a place of welcome, and to caring for the people’s park in the best way possible,” the park’s board said in a statement.

Police had told the board that officers wouldn’t be available to monitor the statue, so the panel decided to take it down before vandals damaged or destroyed it, according to a source close to the board who asked not to be identified.

Board President Steve M. Kidwell declined to comment beyond the board’s written statement.

Park Director Bill Reininger also declined to discuss the statue’s removal.

The statue will be cleaned and put in storage, with its future undecided.

Tower Grove Park is public but its operation is overseen by the independent Board of Commissioners, not city government.

About half of the park’s budget comes from the city; the rest is from rentals, donations and other sources.

The board said in a statement that the statue’s original purpose was to celebrate the contributions of Italian immigrants in the region, a group that often faced bigotry.

“But now, for many, it symbolizes a historical disregard for indigenous peoples and cultures and destruction of their communities,” the board’s statement said.

The statue was unveiled in the park on October 12th, 1886, making it one of the first Columbus statues in the country, according to newspaper reports from the time.

Henry Shaw, who founded the park and whose gardens became the nearby Missouri Botanical Garden, commissioned the piece by Munich artist Ferdinand von Miller.

The two had fierce arguments over whether the monument would be bearded or clean-shaven.

It ultimately depicted a bearded Columbus.

Shaw also commissioned von Miller to create statues to William Shakespeare and German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt for the park, in part to acknowledge Italian, German and English immigrants in St. Louis.

For years the explorer’s statue was a center of Columbus Day celebrations for the Italian community and Catholic groups like the Knights of Columbus, according to accounts in the Post-Dispatch.

But today Columbus statues across the country have been criticized by some as symbols of exploitation, and several have been toppled or removed in the last few weeks amid protests sparked by the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Boston, a Columbus statue was beheaded.

In Philadelphia, the city constructed a wooden box this week to protect a Columbus statue that has become a focal point for days of sometimes violent protests and counter-protests, including attempts to set it on fire.

In Richmond, Virginia, protesters threw a Columbus monument into a lake.

And in St. Paul, Minnesota, activists dragged a bronze Columbus statue off its pedestal and danced around the figure.

As the St. Louis statue was being removed from Tower Grove Park, a couple of men walked up and yelled in protest of the move.

Others cheered as it was taken off its base.

The statue swung around and was put on a trailer bed.

“Iconoclasm,” said one man, who didn’t want to give his name.

“I think it’s absurd.”

“It’s historical,” said Justin King, 38, who lives in Tower Grove South and happened to walk by the statue as he pushed his 2-year-old son in a stroller.

King is a sculptor who makes large-scale, whimsical animals out of cardboard.

“I think it shows great empathy and compassion to make change for others,” he said.

“That statue might not mean much to me, but it may mean a lot to someone else. It’s historical no matter how you look at it.”

St. Louisans of Italian descent were split on the removal.

Angelo Sita, former president of the Columbus Parade in the 1980s, said he disagrees with the removal and said the reputation of the 15th century explorer has been tarnished in the last 15 years.

“Radical groups — left, right, whatever — only perceive what they think is correct. There’s no toleration for other points of view right now,” Sita said.

Rio Vitale, president of Ciao St. Louis, said he was sad to hear the statue was removed.

Ciao St. Louis is a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian heritage in St. Louis.

“It was put there because of discrimination against Italians, to honor Italians, not to honor Christopher Columbus,” Vitale said.

But he hopes the removal can help advance national reforms protesters have demanded in the wake of Floyd’s death.

“What I hope comes from this is real reform — health care, education and protection under the law,” Vitale added.

Another group, the Italian Community of St. Louis, said it is “officially neutral” on the removal of the statue.

“While many in our community applaud its removal, there are some who do not,” the group said in a statement.

“The Italian Community of St Louis stands with Black Lives during these trying times and urges dialogue on all sides. We know that Columbus has been a controversial figure and we apologize for the hurt that this man has caused. There are many other Italian figures who would better represent Italians in St Louis.”

The statue wasn’t the first controversial monument to be removed in St. Louis.

Calls for it to come down intensified after the 2017 removal of the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park, which faced similar protests and vandalism.

The city removed that monument in June 2017 and reached an agreement to put it in the care of the Missouri Civil War Museum at Jefferson Barracks.

Later that summer, the city also tore up the street Confederate Drive where the statue once stood.

It was unclear Tuesday what will now become of the pedestal and area in Tower Grove Park where Columbus stood.

Eric Ellingsen was in the park Tuesday and saw the statue come down.

He teaches landscape architecture at Washington University and was walking through the park with his 7-year-old son.

Ellingsen said the moment was an opportunity for conversation, especially with his son.

“It’s difficult to separate a legacy that Italian Americans take great pride in from one that causes pain,” he said.
“I just think it’s so complex. I’m glad we didn’t get to miss it.”

Desmon Hines, 30, lives in Tower Grove East and said he was glad to see the statue come down.

“It feels like you don’t belong in the park, it’s not for you,” he said.

“It’s not a park that’s free for all if you have a statue of him.”

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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2020, 01:43:45 pm »
Wednesday, 17th June 2o2o
Protesters in Richmond tear down another confederate statue

by Associated Press

Demonstrators in Richmond tore down another confederate statue in the city Tuesday night, news outlets reported.

The Howitzers Monument located near Virginia Commonwealth University's Monroe Park campus was toppled after protesters who spent the night marching in the rain used a rope to pull it down from its pedestal.

The paint-splattered statue was seen face down on the ground as the rain continued overnight in Virginia's capital city, according to a video from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

It's the third Confederate statue, and the fourth monument, to be torn down by demonstrators in Virginia since international protests erupted following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned to the pavement by a white Minneapolis officer who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck.

Statues of confederate president jefferson davis and confederate General williams carter wickham as well as of christopher columbus were toppled by demonstrators in recent weeks.

Protesters in Richmond started their march Tuesday night advocating for the removal of all confederate statues, establishing a civilian review board over police actions and defunding the police, among other things, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.


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Re: Virginia (Race) Riot
« Reply #59 on: June 18, 2020, 07:47:15 pm »
Thursday, 18th June 2o2o
Speaker Pelosi orders removal of portraits of four House speakers from US Capitol ahead of Juneteenth
by John Parkinson & Mariam Khan

Late Thursday afternoon, the gold-framed portraits of four former Speakers of the House of Representatives who shared ties to the confederacy were removed from the walls of the U.S. Capitol, as efforts to strike down symbols of racism around the country continue in the wake of George Floyd's killing last month.

In a letter addressed Thursday to Cheryl Johnson, clerk of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the removal of the paintings in observance of Juneteenth on Friday.

The portraits were taken down hours later.

They had hung in the Capitol for decades, honoring Robert Hunter of Virginia, who served as speaker from 1839 to 1841, Howell Cobb of Georgia, 1849 to 1851, James Orr of South Carolina, 1857 to 1859, and Charles Crisp of Georgia, 1891 to 1895.

"There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the confederacy," Pelosi, D-Calif., proclaimed.

Pelosi admitted that she was unaware that the men had ties to the confederacy until she was informed by a curator taking an inventory of confederate statues in the Capitol, which Pelosi has also worked to remove this month.

"We didn't know about this until we were taking inventory of the statues and the curator told us that there were four paintings of speakers in the Capitol of the United States for speakers who had served in the Confederacy," Pelosi told reporters during a news conference Thursday.

Her letter recounted that Orr swore on the House Floor to "preserve and perpetuate" slavery in order to "enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security," while Hunter "served at nearly every level of the Confederacy," including in the confederate Provincial Congress, as confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the confederate Army.

"The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry," she wrote.

"Our Congressional community has the sacred opportunity and obligation to make meaningful change to ensure that the halls of Congress reflect our highest ideals as Americans. Let us lead by example."

Each House Speaker is honored with a portrait in the U.S. Capitol, although former Representative Dennis Hastert's portrait was removed by Speaker paul ryan on November 2nd, 2015 after Hastert pleaded guilty to breaking federal banking laws related to a hush money scheme he allegedly used to conceal sexual misconduct during his days as a wrestling coach.
The tradition of displaying speakers' portraits began in 1852, before the Civil War, with the collection growing to more than 50 historical paintings.

Former House Speaker John Boehner was honored with a portrait last November, the latest piece of art to join the collection.

Speaker Pelosi does not yet have a portrait in the collection... yet.  ;)

Pelosi's directive was not celebrated by all lawmakers, including Representative Thomas Massie, who exclaimed the portraits depict speakers who "were Speakers of the House for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
The House of Representatives will take a vote next Friday, June 26th, on legislation that would grant the District of Columbia statehood and create, "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth," as the union’s 51st state, drawing its new name from the names of resident george washington and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

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