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April 10, 2018 Statement in Support of the Removal of the Cenotaph

In solidarity with others who are struggling to remove Confederate monuments under more
difficult conditions, sometimes under the threat of their lives, I urge you remove the cenotaph
from the Confederate POW rest section of the Forest Hill Cemetery.

My friend Maisie Brown a high school in Jackson, Mississippi is advocating for the removal of
the Confederate battle flag from her state’s flag.

She states that piece of cloth represents hate towards her.

I add that that all Confederate monuments, include that cenotaph, represent hate towards
African-Americans.

To support Maisie I shared that we ended the flying of the Confederate national flag at the
cemetery by removing the flag pole. I shared with her that was done with the support of Alder
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and my Alder Marsha Rummel. I regret that I cannot also share that we are
removing the remaining Confederate monument.

The cenotaph is a subtle monument to the Confederate cause which has nothing to do with
honoring the dead buried there. They are already honored in the identical way as are the Union
dead in the neighboring section. That is a monument to a violent attempt of racial supremacists
to establish a white supremacist state with African slavery.

As a nation and as a city we have not done enough to make amends for racism nor to deal with
racial disparities. Displaying a Confederate monument in a city park even with an explanatory
sign is a continuation of a long standing pattern of complicity with racism.

If a community such as ours we cannot find a way to remove a Confederate monument, how
can other communities in which opposition is far greater and at times violent, remove
Confederate monuments?

In support of the struggle in other communities, please remove the cenotaph.

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Acknowledgement: Marshall Begel provided editorial assistance.