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The Meaning of Confederate Monuments

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August 23, 2017 19:26 EDT

Many in the US have been questioning whether to keep the country’s monuments that represent Confederate, racist values of the American Civil War.

On August 12, white supremacists and neo-Nazis rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of Confederate monuments, including a statue of General Robert E. Lee. When anti-racism groups met these nationalists, the situation turned deadly. A car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one dead and 19 injured. When President Donald Trump spoke about the violence, he said “both sides” were to blame.

This occurrence has only further ignited the argument over Confederate monuments — including symbols, statues and names of schools — and their position in American history.

Many, including the president, view these monuments as a fundamental symbol of history. They are considered to be a part of southern heritage and pride, one of which should not be forgotten. But the opposition argues that these statues were created to celebrate Confederate, racist values and, therefore, their icons should be demolished.

Those who wish to tear down these monuments find them to be nothing but a fictional celebration of the Confederacy’s racism. And while critics of this position believe they are symbols of the American Civil War, some find that they are solely attributed to white nationalism.

The monuments first appeared amid the Civil War in the 1860s, but the rise in these statues and names honoring Confederate leaders continued up until the 1970s. It is believed they were built in defiance of the southern loss and aim to uphold Confederate, racist values.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: STILLFX /

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