The Lexington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has stated it supports the removal of two Confederate monuments in Lexington, one day after Mayor Jim Gray said he is taking steps to remove the statues from the former Fayette County Courthouse on Main Street.
“The Lexington NAACP will stand alongside the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in support of their petition to the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission for removal. “ the statement read in part.
Gray’s announcement to move the statues the same day as multiple people were killed and injured in Virginia after a vehicle drove into counter-protesters who had clashed with white nationalists around a Confederate-era statue in Charlottesville. Gray said in a statement he will ask the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Council at its Tuesday work session to take the first step — to ask a state military commission for permission to take down the statues of John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge.
The Urban County Council will be asked to vote to support a petition to the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission to move the statues to Veterans Park. The commission must approve the removal of the statues. Veterans Park off of Tates Creek Road is owned by the city.
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Morgan was a Confederate general and slave owner. Breckinridge, a former U.S. vice president and congressman, was expelled from the Senate after joining the Confederate Army. He was the last Confederate Secretary of War.
Vice Mayor Steve Kay said late Saturday he has not spoken to all council members but said he expected the 15-member council to support the petition.
“I think this is a good solution and the right thing to do,” Kay said at the time. “I think moving the statues to Veterans Park will allow the city to still honor history. But we will also be able to add additional signage to give the statues the appropriate context and explain how they came to be and what was going on in Lexington at that time.”