Some Confederate monuments still stand

Kierra Calhoun | Staff Writer

With the recent resurgence of publicized racial tensions in the United States, there has been much discussion over whether all Confederate monuments should be removed from southern communities.

Richmond couple George Braxton and Kelly Harris-Braxton were recently interviewed by Channel 13 News on their personal views about the confederate statues on Monument Avenue and why they believe the statues should be removed. The Braxtons both asserted that Confederate monuments are directly associated with all of the brutalities African Americans have endured in order to benefit the Confederate economy.

The couple also views this monument, and others similar to it, as “gathering places for separatists, white supremacists and Nazis.”

The Braxtons and many other individuals think all Confederate statues and monuments in the South should be removed.

Several Hampton University students, when asked about their personal views and feelings toward confederate monuments, had disparate responses – especially when comparing the ones between students from the South and students from other regions of the country.

When asked what feelings they held toward Confederate monuments, many students, especially those from non-southern regions, expressed indifference.

“I do not have [strong] feelings towards the monuments themselves, as I did not grow up in the South,” sophomore Andre Ray said. “[If I had to choose,] I would say to take [the statues] down only because I think that keeping them up signifies that we as a country are not unified. The Confederacy formed its own country, and we are all one country now.”

Responses similar to Ray’s suggest that perhaps the negative stigmas associated with Confederate monuments are a regional thing. Many students also expressed that they associate the monuments with the Civil War more so than they do with slavery.

Ultimately, nearly every student who was interviewed maintained the monuments should be taken down.

“They should be taken down, because what is there to celebrate?” said Raina Williams, a junior political science major from Philadelphia.

Many believe that the removal of monuments of Confederate war heroes could be the first step in putting an end to racial terrorism in the country.