Southern Poverty Law Center Estimates 160 Confederate Monuments Were Taken Down in 2020. We Need to Pump Those Numbers Up

A monument of Jefferson Davis after a much deserved stomping in Virginia
A monument of Jefferson Davis after a much deserved stomping in Virginia
Photo: PARKER MICHELS-BOYCE (Getty Images)

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), estimates that approximately 160 Confederate monuments were taken down over the course of 2020. Come y’all, those are rookie numbers, we need to pump those numbers up.

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The Associate Press reports that the SPLC has released the figures as part of its “Whose Heritage?” database that keeps track of how many confederate symbols still exist on public lands. While 160 might seem like a solid chunk, between monuments, schools, buildings, and plaques, there are about 2,100 symbols that are still floating around the country.

At this point, I’m almost impressed at America’s continued dedication to doing the bare minimum. Almost.

“These racist symbols only serve to uphold revisionist history and the belief that white supremacy remains morally acceptable,” SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks wrote in a statement, the AP notes. “This is why we believe that all symbols of white supremacy should be removed from public spaces.”

In terms of monuments, there are still 704 just being ugly and racist in buildings and parks across the country, including even the Capitol building. Leave it to Mississippi’s stupid ass to have Confederate President Jefferson Davis be one of the statues that represent the state in the National Statuary Hall Collection. A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee previously stood in Statuary Hall, representing the state of Virginia, but it was taken down and will be replaced with a statue of Barbara Johns.

Johns was a 16-year-old girl who led a walkout to protest the inequitable conditions at her segregated school in Farmville, Va. The walkout garnered attention from attorneys at the NAACP, who filed a federal lawsuit that would go on to be one the cases the Supreme Court reviewed in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that would deem segregation unconstitutional.

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“I hope that young people will see it as something that they could emulate,” Joan Johns Cobbs, Johns’ younger sister, told AP with regard to the statue. “Being that young, seeing an injustice, and deciding to do something about it is pretty remarkable.”

In recent years there has been calls for these monuments to be removed from public spaces as they’re, you know, racist as fuck and celebrate people who commited actual treason. Those calls only intensified last year in the wake of the protests against police brutality and systemic racism after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

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While many states have attempted to answer these calls and form commissions to determine what to do with the Confederate symbols scattered around their states, others, such as Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama have seen lawmakers introduce legislation to protect them monuments from being altered, moved, or damaged in any way.

Can you imagine if these folks had the same energy when it came to providing healthcare for people, creating an equitable job market, addressing systemic racism, or shit, at least getting a handle on this pandemic? No? Yeah, me neither.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

DISCUSSION

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder

In fairness, those self-same folks appear to be as vehemently against providing healthcare for people, creating an equitable job market or fighting the pandemic as they are to dismantling the bulwarks of racism of which these statues are a part. Frankly they seem quite willing to expend their energy against them all.