The Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, thinks that removing American monuments will help his business plan for the courthouse.
There is reason to view Confederate monuments as American memorials. Under the terms of surrender that ended the Civil War, Southern soldiers counted as American soldiers and their graves and monument are American military graves and monuments.
So why does Mayor Jim Gray want to remove them?
The Washington Post reports, “In the wake of Charlottesville protests, a Kentucky mayor wants to remove Confederate statues.”
Mayor Jim Gray doesn’t have to watch footage of the violent protests in Charlottesville over the weekend to know how divisive Confederate monuments can be.
At family reunions and holiday dinners his whole life, he has heard about his great-uncles fighting each other in the Civil War’s Battle of Shiloh. Two were on the Union’s side. One fought for the Confederacy.
Now, the 63-year-old mayor, who is white, is bracing for more controversy — and potentially worse, given the unrest in Charlottesville — after he announced plans on Saturday to move two Confederate monuments from prominent places near Lexington’s courthouse.
As you read the rest of the story, it becomes clear that this is more of a commercial decision. The city is “renovating” the courthouse near where the Civil War monuments are presently placed. There will be a restaurant and a bar. The mayor thinks the “offensive” statues will discourage business.
In the mayor’s defense, he wants the statues relocated to a park dedicated to honoring veterans. But the Washington Post, and the mayor himself, while acknowledging the business nature of the plan, insist he is doing a virtuous thing.
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