Task force debates what's next for Dallas confederate monuments, street names

A Dallas task force working on what to do with other monuments, building names and streets tied to the Confederacy held a public input meeting on Friday.

The task force, created by Mayor Mike Rawlings last month, heard mixed opinions from those in attendance and also worked to come up with some solutions.

The group discussed the Robert E. Lee statue removed from Lee Park on Thursday. Appraisers value the sculpture at nearly $1 million, with the Confederate monument next to the convention center in downtown appraised at more than $500,000.

Some options for the Lee statue include relocating it to a museum, a battlefield, selling it to heirs or auctioning it off.  The Art Commission has not been able to find any museums interested in taking the lee monument, but a couple of cemeteries have said they're interested.

“In spite of the fact it is a beautiful statue, it is a painful thing for a substantial portion of our community and does not reflect what Dallas stands for anymore,” said task force member and corporate attorney Larry Schoenbrun.

The task force is sharply divided about if the monument should ever be on display anywhere in the city of Dallas again. A motion to prevent its display failed in a tie, 10 to 10. The task force is made up of 11 blacks, 7 whites, 1 bi-racial person, 1 Hispanic, and 1 Asian.

In addition to what to do with the Lee sculpture, the group is also supposed to come up with a plan for the confederate monument at Pioneer Park and whether to rename some prominent Dallas streets that most people have no idea have ties to confederate soldiers -- Clark, Gaston, Lemmon and Coit.

The task force has also yet to discuss what to do with the pedestal the Lee statue sat on, the quote surrounding it and the replica of Lee's house, Arlington Hall.

“I thought we were going to have 3 months, in effect we have a few weeks,” Schoenbrun said, who said the task force could use some more time. Its final scheduled meeting is next Tuesday.

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