The city of Dallas voted Wednesday to take down a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee from park grounds in a 13-1 vote.
The city council voted overwhelmingly on the resolution, proposed by three black council members, to remove the statue from Lee Park, with Councilwoman Sandy Greyson voting against it and Councilman Rickey Callahan voting “present,”reports the Dallas News.
“There is no question in my mind that this city will be better tomorrow with this statue down,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. The statue will be taken to a city storage area until the council formally decides where to put it.
During the vote, people were given one minute to argue for or against the statue’s removal. Some people argued that removing the statue was the same as erasing history, while others called it a reminder of past hurts. One group tried to place supporters in the audience to advocate for keeping the statue.
“We need a large group of advocates in the audience to support the speakers who oppose the statue’s removal, the Council’s tyrannical approach to this issue and failure to allow citizens to determine the future of the Lee statue and other historical, artistic and cultural monuments,” a group member with Dallas Citizens for Unity and Reconciliation wrote on Facebook.
As part of the vote. the council also approved a task force that will examine public areas that have Confederate names and “take further action if needed.” The task force will also decide how to handle the Confederate War Memorial.
“We’re not trying to rewrite history. We’re trying to redeem history,” Rev. Gerald Britt said, praising the council’s decision.
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