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Old 05-14-2016, 12:36 PM
Location: Los Angeles
449 posts, read 144,492 times
Reputation: 354


This is actually my first actual thread on city data so here it goes. It appears the mayor and the University of Louisville made a decision to remove the 70 foot Confederate Monument from its current location to be relocated to a more appropriate location. And predictably that action was met with a lawsuit by Everett Corley, a GOP Congressional hopeful, and co-plaintiffs, which include the Sons of Confederate Veterans Kentucky Division, Inc. So the stage is set. The purpose of this post is to hear people’s views on this somewhat sensitive topic. My own views reflect that of the Mayor Greg Fischer’s who stated

"It's always important to remember and respect our history, but it's equally important to reflect on that history in proper context,"
"This monument represents our history -- a painful part of our nation's history for many — and it's best moved to a new location"

I am a native Louisvillian and always had mixed views on this particular monument. I do not believe that any culture should revise or erase its history. In my view the problem with the monument is that it stands out like a sore thumb being on U of L’s campus. It is just not a good fit. Also, this would not be the first time the monument has been relocated. I think there would be a more appropriate place in the city to place it such as Cave Hill Cemetery. Section A is a burial site for over 5,500 soldiers killed in the Civil War and other American Wars. To me this would be an appropriate noncontroversial location to honor the city's past.

For those of you interested here is a link to a book that helps explain how and why this confederate monument and others were erected in Kentucky first place. The introduction of this book is only 6 pages long and would IMO assist in an informed conversation on this topic.


I know Louisville's regional identity has been discussed to death on these boards. One thing you may want to consider is that Kentucky's regional identity has perplexed historians for generations, so it is somewhat apropos that would show up on these boards. I find this particular issue to be current and warrants conversation.

Old 05-14-2016, 01:09 PM
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,167,949 times
Reputation: 14935
One of the most painful things about history is that sometimes it's ugly - but it's still history, and the Civil War is a very important part of Kentucky's history. I think they need to leave things like this alone.

I'll be candid here. When I moved here, I was quite surprised at how much of the state identifies with and even glorifies the Confederacy. When our town holds its annual parade, the Confederate honor guard gets at least twice as much of an ovation as the Union honor guard. Frankly, I think it's repulsive (and please, don't anyone bother lecturing me on how all those confederate flags don't really mean what they mean.) But, it is what it is, and you can't really understand the state unless you understand that aspect of it. And you can't understand that aspect of it if the social justice warriors scrub everything clean and pretend it isn't really happening.

It is what it is. For better or worse, it is Kentucky. Leave it alone, live with it, and maybe learn from it. But don't try to pretend it never happened or that it isn't still happening on some levels.
Old 05-15-2016, 07:59 AM
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,585 posts, read 20,464,174 times
Reputation: 9077
It would go over better if the residents of Jefferson County got to vote on its removal. If it's just the mayor and U of L removing it some people will have a bad taste in their mouth.

My personal feeling: it makes no sense that the largest monument for war dead in Louisville is for a war where 80% of the people of Louisville fought on the other side, probably shooting at the dead for whom the monument stands. I'm not aware that there is a monument anywhere for WW1, WW1, etc that is anywhere near as impressive. Louisville is a hybrid Midwest / Southern city but it had by far more support for the Union during the war, as did most of Kentucky. While not all Confederates were racists and many Union soldiers cared nothing about ending slavery the reality is the war's result did end slavery and thus any thing Confederate is understandably offense to Black Americans. I don't think this is political correctness gone too far.

I support moving this and all other public Confederate monuments and handing them off to a privately funded group that can preserve them. I also think the Jefferson Davis State Park should be handed off to a private group.
Old 05-15-2016, 08:21 AM
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
6,966 posts, read 12,378,519 times
Reputation: 29152
Would you believe, not that many years ago, some people were wanting the Jefferson Davis Monument torn down?
Old 05-15-2016, 08:59 AM
122 posts, read 72,075 times
Reputation: 77
Washington owned slaves, let's change the name of the capital.
Old 05-15-2016, 10:47 AM
Location: Denver
13,976 posts, read 18,706,229 times
Reputation: 8385
I just don't understand why people think it's erasing history to remove a statue. It's just removing the glorification of symbols of oppression.
Old 05-15-2016, 02:16 PM
Location: Los Angeles
449 posts, read 144,492 times
Reputation: 354
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
it makes no sense that the largest monument for war dead in Louisville is for a war where 80% of the people of Louisville fought on the other side, probably shooting at the dead for whom the monument stands.
Very good observation. Why would a city that was a union stronghold erect this monument amid great fanfare, over 2000 people came out the day it was dedicated many of them union veterans??? This period of Kentucky's history has perplexed historians for over 100 years. A famous historian E Merton Coulter coined the phrase Kentuckians "waited until the war was over to secede from the Union" From 1865 to 1935 Kentucky developed a Confederate identity completely at odds with their Civil War loyalties. This particular monument is from that period. The short answer as to why these sentiments existed is that Kentuckians completely rejected their decision to support the union during the course of the war. Postbellum Kentucky was the most reactionary state in the south, and the people (with the exception of Eastern Kentucky) totally embraced the "Lost Cause" movement. So that is the backdrop of this monument, it has great historical importance to the city of Louisville but I can see how this can be viewed as offensive by many.

The mayor wants to Relocate the monument, not take it down. It was relocated once in 1954 so it is not on hallowed ground.
Old 05-19-2016, 08:52 AM
236 posts, read 215,013 times
Reputation: 244
Relocate it. History should not be erased, but this negative part of state history should not be displayed in such a grand fashion. Move it to the cemetery as others have suggested.
Old 05-19-2016, 02:48 PM
6,296 posts, read 13,179,782 times
Reputation: 2789
Originally Posted by U146 View Post
As far as I'm concerned, Louisville is still Southern culturally and linguistically even without the Confederate monument.
Moderator cut: delete. The fact is we all live here and it is not 100% southern.

Last edited by Miss Blue; 05-21-2016 at 12:34 PM.. Reason: it was just his opinion
Old 05-19-2016, 03:23 PM
1,506 posts, read 921,077 times
Reputation: 1994
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
I just don't understand why people think it's erasing history to remove a statue. It's just removing the glorification of symbols of oppression.
Are we also going to remove statues commemorating Washington and Jefferson? Both of them owned slaves as well.
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