Dallas activists press for Confederate monument to come down

- Some see symbols of white supremacy. Others see local Confederate monuments as valuable pieces of history.

Protestors of a monument in Dallas are expected at City Hall to press for change.

Over the years, there have been waves of people who've taken issue with certain Confederate statues or building names. But now it seems the political fight is ratcheting up.

They tower over some of the city's most high profile areas. Monuments like the one of Robert E. Lee at Dallas' Lee Park and others near city hall pay homage to the Civil War and its leaders.

“It would be inappropriate for these statues that honor slave owners, stealers of human bodies, traffickers,” said Michael Phillips with North Texans for Historical Justice. “It would be inappropriate even if there weren't a single person of color in Dallas.”

To Phillips, an author and Collin College history professor, the monuments have simply got to go.

“These statues were put in place in an era when, number one — it was the height of lynching, number two — it was a period of disenfranchisement, poll taxes and literacy tests and number three — it was a period of segregation,” he said. “To keep those monuments there today says we still have those same values.”

Phillips would also like to see the names of several Dallas schools changed, including Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Elementary.

It's the latest round in a fiercely divided debate. Texas Senator Brandon Creighton from Conroe is slipping Senate Bill 112 into the special session. He says it’s to preserve history and prevent renaming.

In a statement, Creighton says "We should not delete evidence of our past to comply with current political correctness. These monuments are a great way to learn and teach future generations as parents see fit."

Phillips says he's not trying to delete history. He just wants to change its presentation.

“If Germans had decided to leave in place all the swastikas carved into public buildings in Germany after WWII because it’s quote ‘history,’ People know about their past in Germany,” Phillips said. “They don't need to live under the shadow of swastikas forever because of that.”

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