Thursday, July 23, 2020

Push to remove Confederate statues stalls in rural areas

Map and legend by The Washington Post, enhanced by The Rural Blog; for a larger version, click on the image.
In the wake of protests about racism and police brutality over the past few months, at least 63 Confederate statues nationwide have been taken down by protesters or removed by local officials, but that's mostly happened in liberal, urban areas. Rural communities are far less likely to push for their removal, according to an exclusive tally kept by The Associated Press. For instance, "North Carolina still has at least 69 monuments on public land. Of those, 56 are in counties that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016; 52 are in towns of fewer than 20,000," AP's Rebecca Santana and Jonathan Drew report.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 700 Confederate statues remain standing, many in the rural South, with the largest shares in Georgia and Virginia. The AP list shows that 2020 has been one of the busiest years yet for removal of such statues.

"Still, in a sign that the removal movement might be spreading, local governments in several less populous areas of Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina have recently approved removals but not yet taken down the monuments," Santana and Drew report.

Laws in some Southern states, counties and communities may make removing the monuments difficult, Bonnie Berkowitz and Adrian Blanco report for The Washington Post.

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