A day after a Confederate monument was vandalized in Kansas City, a city council member said such memorials have no place in modern society and called for the removal of similar artifacts.
Third District City Councilman Jermaine Reed released a statement Saturday evening calling Confederate monuments “outdated” and a reminder of much darker times in American history.
On Friday someone painted what appeared to be a red hammer and sickle on a local Confederate memorial at 55th Street and Ward Parkway.
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“Confederate monuments are an outdated reminder of our country’s history of racism, exclusion, and violence,” Reed said in the statement. “They have no place in a modern society.”
Confederate memorials across the country have become the center of a debate over whether the U.S. should continue to memorialize those who supported the South.
After last week’s protests and violence in Charlottesville, Va., the outcry for removal has only gotten louder.
“Recent events show us that marginalized communities are still at risk of persecution in this country, and although it is symbolic, removal of Confederate monuments is a clear sign that Kansas City does not stand for hate,” Reed said Saturday.
Erected to the “Loyal Women of the Old South,” the local memorial’s purpose was to recognize the women who supported the Confederacy and slavery.
It was a 1934 gift to the city by a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It originally stood in the Country Club Plaza but was relocated in 1958 to its present site, according to the Kansas City Department of Parks and Recreation website.
Some area residents have recently asked that the 83-year-old monument be removed. Its future is being reviewed by the parks department.
In the early part of the last century, Nichols developed the Plaza and several residential districts. He used restrictive deeds to keep racial and religious minorities out of those neighborhoods.
Confederate monuments, Reed said, “belong in textbooks, not public places, where future generations can learn from the mistakes of the past so that we don’t repeat them.”
The Star’s Kelsey Ryan contributed to this report.