At least 160 symbols of Confederacy taken down in 2020
Nearly 2,100 statues and symbols
Carol Ozemhoya, OW Contributor | 2/25/2021, 11:36 a.m.
When rioters tore through the U.S. Capitol last month, some of them gripping Confederate battle flags, they didn't encounter a statue of the most famous rebel general, Robert E. Lee.
The Lee statue, which represented the state of Virginia as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Capitol for 111 years, had been removed just weeks before — one of at least 160 public Confederate symbols taken down or moved from public spaces in 2020, according to a new count the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) told the Associated Press.
The Montgomery, Alabama-based law center, which keeps a raw count of nearly 2,100 statues, symbols, placards, buildings and public parks dedicated to the Confederacy, released 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,” SPLC chief of staff Lecia Brooks said in a statement. “This is why we believe that all symbols of White supremacy should be removed from public spaces.”