To see the ways in which a country views itself, and its history, you need look no further than its monuments and memorials. These civic markers act as modes of remembrance, imploring onlookers to remember great historical feats and figures (as the Lincoln Memorial does), or to reflect on a complicated past (as the Vietnam War memorial does).
Which is why it’s notable that in 2018, racist assholes are still erecting Confederate memorials.
The latest slab of marble bullshit was put up near Mobile, Ala., this past May by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a non-profit group founded in 1896 that seeks to memorialize and pay tribute to soldiers who fought against the United States to preserve the practice of human bondage.
“A memorial to the Confederate Soldiers. Fighting for their independence,” reads the inscription at the base of the monument.
As Now This reports, the nine-foot statue was erected in a park owned by the group. The statue doesn’t appear to depict a specific historical figure, instead showcasing an anonymous, bearded white man standing with the barrel of his rifle between his hands.
According to Now This, although dozens of Confederate symbols and markers have been taken down in recent years, more than 1,700 remain. And a new bill passed by the Alabama state legislature this year, the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, makes it more difficult for future Confederate markers to be taken down. The Act requires local governments to get permission from the state before removing or renaming monuments constructed more than 40 years ago.
Apparently, Ala. has no such quibbles about putting up new monuments honoring its dreadful, violent past. Maybe somebody should ask Alabama what exactly they’re trying to preserve.