Most black Americans do not think Confederate statues should be removed because they are offensive, a Marist poll released Thursday found.
Forty-four percent of African Americans believe the Confederate statues should stay in place, while 11 percent said they’re unsure. The remaining 40 percent of African Americans polled said the statues should be removed.
Those surveyed were asked whether statues “honoring leaders of the Confederacy” should “remain as a historical symbol” or “be removed because they are offensive to some people,” or whether the respondent is unsure. NPR and PBS News Hour conducted the Marist poll Monday and Tuesday, following a weekend of violent protests sparked by the subject in Charlottesville, Va.
Latin Americans who participated overwhelmingly believe that Confederate monuments should stay in place — 65 percent said they should remain. Twenty-four percent said they should come down, while 11 percent said they weren’t sure.
White Americans also overwhelmingly supported keeping up Confederate monuments– 65 percent said they should stay, while 25 percent said they should be taken down. Eight percent said they weren’t sure if they should stay up or not. Most Republicans, Independents and those who identified as “soft” Democrats said the statues should stay. Fifty-seven percent of those identified as “strong” Democrats said the statues should be removed.
Lawmakers and city officials are calling for the removal of Confederate statues, particularly in light of the Charlottesville riots, where white supremacists gathered in part to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Baltimore city workers removed four Confederate statues late Tuesday night.
The Congressional Black Caucus has also proposed the removal of the statues from the U.S. Capitol Building.
“We will never solve America’s race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States in order to keep African Americans in chains. By the way, thank god, they lost,” CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, said to ABC News in a Monday statement.
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