No more dithering. Remove the Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda.
After Charlottesville, there are no good reasons for it to remain. We don’t need to set it into “context.”
We don’t need education about it. It is a racist symbol of a traitor, a man who took up arms against his nation, a man who led the Confederacy in an effort to preserve the slave economy of the South.
Symbols are powerful, defining a culture, elevating values we hold dear, moving us to action. I have been to many powerful events at the Rotunda, many associated with civil rights, with justice, with moving our civic culture forward. To have this statue there as a reminder of our racist past only encourages those who desire Kentucky to have a racist future.
If South Carolina can remove the Confederate flag, if New Orleans can remove their Confederate statues, if Charlottesville can remove Robert E. Lee, then Kentucky can and should remove Jefferson Davis. It was wrong to leave him there after the terrorist murders at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston.
It will be wrong if we continue to dither on this issue now.