Protest held over statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

In Dallas, there are protests over a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Lee Park in the Oak Lawn Area.

The popular wedding spot features Arlington Hall, a building modeled after Lee's mansion in Arlington, Virginia that is now at the site of Arlington National Cemetery.

Protesters met at Lee Park on Tuesday night in the hopes of un-dedicating the statue of Lee and rededicating the park to abolitionists.

"He is a symbol of the enslavement of my ancestors, so when I look at the Confederacy overall, I cannot help but recall the horrific institution of slavery," said demonstrator Dr. Safisha Hill.

Demonstrators held signs and pictures of abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, hoping that Lee Park can be renamed Freedom Park.

"We cannot pretend that racism does not exist," said Hill. "it does, and we can't continue to embrace the symbols of racism and justify it as culture."

But not every onlooker supported the same view.

"I find it kind of improper and slightly offensive to see people bearing signs that say 'Free the park from Lee,'" said Brad Theriot, who opposes renaming the park.

FOX 4 asked Tarleton State American history professor Michael Landis where the line is drawn between history and hate.

"The flags of the Confederacy, the leaders of the rebellion, Lee, Davis and all the way down to the privates are a part of our nation's history and should never be forgotten or eliminated or removed from the history," said Landis. "…But what we need to do is to be honest about what these men fought for and what they represented."

Lee Park Conservancy runs the park, and in a statement on Tuesday night, said the following:

"The Dallas Park Board and Dallas City Council, perhaps with the Texas Historical Commission, are the only decision-makers regarding the park's name or the artwork on the property.  We at the Conservancy support open dialogue, peaceful debate and level-headed reflection on this issue and others like it. Many people across the country are engaged in these discussions, and we believe it's a healthy debate to have, even if it's difficult.  Our primary mission, however, is focused on the care and conservation of the gardens, landscaping and the park's environment as well as the preservation and maintenance of Arlington Hall. This park is a treasured Dallas landmark because of its beauty and uniqueness within the Dallas Park system."


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