A Dallas city councilman blasted “racists” who want to preserve Confederate monuments Thursday, but not all residents agreed with his opinion.
Philip Kingston, a councilman for the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, Texas, said that some of his constituents want a statue displaying Robert E. Lee and a Confederate soldier removed, in an interview with NBCDFW.
“This is an effort not to preserve history but to distort history,” Kingston said. “This issue is not about history, it’s not about the Confederacy, it’s about racists in Dallas trying to create a distorted picture of history for the purpose of preserving their ability to discriminate.”
However, Dallas residents questioned by NBCDFW held different opinions.
“I do understand how it is wrapped up and symbolizes a certain kind of hatred that’s not healthy,” explained resident Kyle Bridges, “but from a historical perspective it makes some sense that it remains, and we can’t go blotting out the parts of history that we don’t like.”
The memorial contains statues of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, as well as generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“I mean it’s beautiful to look at, but what it represents I’m not sure if that’s for the majority,” a resident said, remarking that there is a lot of “hate” in America currently.
“It’s not a slavery issue,” said Gary Bray, commander of the Texas chapter of The Sons of Confederate Veterans. “It’s an issue of their service.”
“Unfortunately, hatred exists,” Bray added. “But taking down statues and trying to change history doesn’t change that.”
Mike Rawlings, mayor of Dallas, weighed in on the discussion in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” forum for Dallas Morning News, in which he stated that he did not believe mayors should be deciding the maintenance or removal of statues.
“That being said, I’ve always been open for discussion for how we create new monuments for the heroes post-Civil War,” said Rawlings, “and I think I would entertain intelligent discussion about how Robert E. Lee’s statue would be moved someplace else.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Kingston for comment, but received none in time for publication.
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