While the civil discussion of leaving or removing the Confederate monument in Fairview Cemetery is welcomed, it has significantly disparate sides. We, as a diverse coalition of Clay Countians, support its removal.
The monument represents and honors a time when Blacks were treated as property, less than human. It’s true that history matters in that we can hopefully learn from it, but this monument has no educational purpose or value.
Etchings on the monument state that it is in memory of the Daughters of the Confederacy of Clay County and that it honors soldiers of the Confederacy of Clay County. The man whose name is on the monument, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a prewar slave trader turned general, who became an organizer and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, where racism reigned and still does.
Offensive symbols are being removed nationwide in a movement for inclusion and equality. We are asking the Liberty City Council to take this action and show that in our city Black lives matter equally to others, not just by what we say, but by what we do.
Every second that passes becomes history, and every second that follows becomes an opportunity to create change. The removal of the monument is an opportunity to call out racism for what it is, a way to show support for our Black citizens in their continued fight for true equality – the opposite of what a Confederate monument symbolizes.
Clay Countians for Inclusion