Remember when we told you about the lawsuit filed over a Confederate monument that has stood in the mostly Black Tuskegee, Ala. for over a century?
Well, according to the Montgomery Advertiser, that lawsuit has gone nowhere ever since it was filed in September. The issue at the heart of the suit is whether it was legal for the county to transfer the land where the monument is located to the United Daughters of the Confederacy to create a whites-only park.
From the Advertiser:
The Macon County Commission officially sued the Tuskegee and Alabama chapters of UDC on Sept. 1, arguing the 1906 commission did not have the legal right to deed out public land for private political purposes. The lawsuit aims to return the deed to the county, where local leaders are in support of removing the monument.
Former Tuskegee mayor and staunch memorial opponent Johnny Ford said lawyers have been unable to serve the lawsuit as there is no longer any UDC presence in Macon County.
“It stands as an insult to the predominantly African-American community in Macon County,” Ford said.
Per the Advertiser, some of the supporting documents the county commission has provided to make the case for dismantling the monument includes minutes from a 1906 meeting that showed the county gave the UDC the land for the main purpose of turning it “into a park to white people.”
More from the Advertiser:
The minutes also state the area could revert back to the county if it is no longer used for that purpose.
In 1949, the county discovered the original deed had been lost or never recorded, according to the second exhibit. The county commission again deeded land to the UDC for the purpose of a “park for white people,” with the caveat the land would revert back to the county if it ceased to be used for that purpose.
It seems like there’s a pretty solid argument in favor of the county for tearing down the monument since the park is clearly not being used for its purpose intended in the deed.
But the county can’t take action on its own due to possible fines it could face for violating Alabama’s Monument Preservation Act, the Advertiser reports, which makes it illegal to remove any moment 40 years or older without permission.
Until the suit is served to a UDC representative, who knows if or when the court will take action on the monument? One thing is certain, council member Ford (who tried to cut down the statue himself with a saw) wants it gone.
“Black people are being insulted every day by a statue that represents slavery, that represents treason,” Ford told the Advocate.