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Sunday Poll: What Should St. Louis Do About The Confederate Memorial & Street In Forest Park?

Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

Since nine people were shot & killed at a historically black church in Charleston S.C., the confederate flag has thankfully become politically toxic:

In South Carolina, the governor called for the Confederate flag to stop flying over the capitol. The governors of Virginia and North Carolina quickly declared that they would remove the flag from state license plates. Meanwhile, several of the country’s top retailers — from Walmart to eBay and Amazon — announced in quick succession that they would stop selling Confederate flag merchandise.

Not for the first time this year, the concerns of political leaders and business elites converged on a single issue — and swiftly forced dramatic change. (CNN: Why business fought the Confederate flag)

The confederate battle flag should’ve been banished decades ago, but what about other confederate symbols & memorials? Namely the confederate memorial in Forest Park…located on Confederate Drive:

Historians say don’t let the old artillery mislead you. Forest Park was never a civil war battle field. The only reason there a confederate statue here is because it is where the donor wanted it built back in 1914. But now, some want it gone.

For 100 years the statue has stood just east of the Missouri History museum and some would say on the southern side of the state’s Civil War history – a monument to Confederate “soldiers and sailors” built fifty years after the war. (KSDK: Confederate memorial debate in Forest Park)

Today’s poll question asks: “What should St. Louis do about the confederate memorial & street name in Forest Park?”

The poll, open until 8pm tonight, is at the top of the right sidebar. Mobile users will need to switch to the desktop view to vote.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Slavery, the Confederacy and the Civil War are all a part of our history – we can’t eradicate it just because we don’t like what our forefathers did. How far do we go down the road of political correctness? Do we need to rename Jefferson Barracks and Washington Avenue just because their namesakes were slave owners? Do we demolish the Jefferson Davis Monument (in Fairview, Kentucky*), because he led the Confederacy? If anything, we need to make our less-desirable historic actions better known (not “swept under the rug”), things like our World War II Internment Camps, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Americans . and our treatment of Native Americans – see “Indian Reservations” and our failures to respect our treaties with them . . .

    *http://parks.ky.gov/parks/historicsites/jefferson-davis/

     
  2. gmichaud says:

    I would keep the statue and get rid of the street name. Probably over 90 per cent of St. Louis didn’t even know the statue was there, so I think it hardly qualifies as offensive, although you don’t enumerate exactly what it commemorates, just some soldiers and sailors?
    Clay has asked Slay to remove it, so I’m guessing thy will be done, although history is history, and unless the statue itself is in someway offensive in its commendation then it is probably not the right thing to do in removing it. Like President Obama said, he does not question the valor and bravery of the confederate soldiers, it just is that they were wrong about slavery.
    I don’t think it is a good idea eliminate the history of slavery, rather the statue is a reminder of how frail and irrational human beings can be in the name of a cause. How is it possible to justify slavery in any possible way?
    As far as the street name, I don’t guess there are streets called Hitler Blvd, or Nazi Lane in Berlin. So Confederate is likely not the best street name under the best of circumstances. Is there a history of how this street was named and does it relate to the statue in any way? What was the intent of those who installed the statue. Was in your face and hateful or simply honoring the dead?
    Still though, I don’t think it is a good idea either to get carried away with this stuff. The flag on State land in Charleston and throughout the south should be removed. Especially since it was installed in response to the civil rights movement and is not some hertiage item.
    The statue in Forest Park, that nobody visits, has meanwhile be in place a hundred years or so and is not anywhere close in meaning to the Confederate Flag issue in South Carolina.
    (Do they need historical sign offs from the federal government to remove it?)
    In any case a measured response is in order. Surely the state representative and mayor have better things to do than make a major case about a statue that no one visits. Well I guess people visit it now, not me though, have fun.

     

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