Councilmen pushing for removal of Dallas Confederate displays

Five state lawmakers and four Dallas councilmen are pushing for the removal of public Confederate displays in Dallas.

A letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings describes the monuments as "inappropriate" and seeks to have them relocated "for display in the context of their role as part of a past that should not be repeated."

The letter was signed by State Senator Royce West and representatives Helen Giddings, Roberto Alonzo, Rafael Anchia and Toni Rose.

While they support the mayor's 90-day task force on deciding what to do with the monuments, some Dallas council members want the process to speed up.

“We stand in solidarity to say the statutes must be and will be removed,” said Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwain Caraway.

On the eve of an anti-Confederate monument rally in Dallas, the four black men on the council say the time is now to remove the statues that stand in city-owned parks

“Taxpayer dollars should not support vestiges of racism, white supremacy and oppression,” said Council Member Kevin Felder.

Their Friday news conference follows the mayor’s memo on his task force on Confederate monuments and his process, which includes public meetings, costs for removal, historical considerations and action by council no later than November 8.

Felder says that’s too far down the road.

“I’m going to continue to push the mayor to shorten that time period,” he said. “We need to get on with this process. At the same time, I’m going to appoint someone to the task force. But at the same time, we need to get on with this process so the November 8 is not acceptable to me.”

Taking pictures of the monuments the four council members say time has come to take down, Abigail Fraser feels the symbols of the Confederate south should not be forgotten.

“You can’t whitewash history. You can’t erase it. It’s there,” she said. “And if they want to get rid of it, at least put it in a museum, a Confederate museum, where it can be kept here like this instead of just destroying it.”

City Councilman Phillip Kingston started the conversation about the Confederate monuments coming down. He expressed his disappointment with the mayor’s task force, saying there was no consultation from the mayor before it became "his task force."

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