Associated Press, February 23, 2021
At least 160 public Confederate symbols were taken down or moved from public spaces in 2020, according to a new count by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The law center, which keeps a raw count of nearly 2,100 statues, symbols, placards, buildings and public parks dedicated to the Confederacy, will release the latest figures from its Whose Heritage? database on Tuesday. It has been tracking a movement to take down the monuments since 2015, when a white supremacist entered a South Carolina church and killed several black parishioners.
“These racist symbols only serve to uphold revisionist history and the belief that white supremacy remains morally acceptable,” said Lecia Brooks, SPLC chief of staff. “This is why we believe that all symbols of white supremacy should be removed from public spaces.”
The SPLC says 704 Confederate monuments are still standing across the US. Taking some down may be difficult, particularly in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, where lawmakers have enacted policies protecting them.
“Exposing children to anything that falsely promotes the idea of white superiority and black inferiority is dehumanizing,” said Brooks.