The mayor of Lexington, Kentucky is accelerating his plans to remove Confederate statues from key locations in the city due to violence spurred by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday.
The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I meant to make next week.
Rallies and marches in support of yesterday’s victims and refuting the message of hate and violence expressed by the white supremacists are taking place across the US. “We can not allow hate and bigotry to tear down democracy and freedom”.
On Tuesday, Gray will ask the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Council to support his petition to the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission to remove the statues. “While it will never make up for the loss of a member of our community, we will pursue charges against the driver of the vehicle that caused her death and are confident justice will prevail”, the city of Charlottesville said in a statement. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.
Although it was a slave-holding border state, more Kentuckians actually served in Union regiments than Confederate ones during the U.S. Civil War, but historical revisionists would have you believe that the entire state stood behind the Confederacy.
If his petition is successful, the statues of Confederate Brig. Gen.
Gray further explained his reasoning in a video on Sunday.
Lexington honors history. But that history must be accurate, he said. “And yes, we need to remember it and not erase it”.
Gray goes on to explain that the statues now sit on land that used to be used for slave auctions, and notes that it’s “not right” to have statues honoring men who supported slavery on those grounds.
No mention of where the statues would be relocated.