POLITICS
08/14/2017 03:11 pm ET

Charlottesville Violence Prompts Other Cities To Consider Removing Confederate Monuments

"When you see the violence that we saw in Charlottesville, then you know that we must act," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said.

This weekend, white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the city’s removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

What was already a contentious, violent rally became murderous Saturday, when a 20-year-old white supremacist named James Alex Fields allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring at least 19 others.

Now, numerous other cities are considering removing their own Confederate monuments.

One of those cities is Lexington, Kentucky, where Mayor Jim Gray promised to take action Saturday. 

“Mayors are on the razor’s edge,” Gray, a Democrat, told CBS. “When you see the violence that we saw in Charlottesville, then you know that we must act.” 

“I don’t think it’s right... that we would honor and glorify Confederate men who fought to preserve slavery,” he added. “And honor them on the very grounds that slaves were once sold at auction.”

A Confederate statue in Louisville, some 80 miles from Lexington, was vandalized over the weekend.

There are more than 700 Confederate monuments installed in public areas across 31 states, USA Today notes. They can be found in public parks, courthouses and capitol buildings, among other locations.

New Orleans in 2015 announced plans to remove four prominent Confederate statutes, which it did earlier this year

Other cities contemplating similar actions include:

  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • All of North Carolina
    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper wants to remove Confederate monuments from state property. 

    "We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery," he said. "These monuments should come down."
  • Franklin, Ohio
  • Birmingham, Alabama
    While Alabama law prohibits the removal of Confederate monuments, Birmingham is nonetheless pursuing options to remove its statue.
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