For years, Confederate statues and monuments across the United States have drawn the ire from groups and people who believe they should be removed for sending a message of hate.
The monuments, depicting Confederate Civil War leaders or soldiers, are seen by some as a sign of racism, a dark stage in American history. Others, however, see them as a piece of American history that should be preserved and cherished as a tribute to the nation’s history.
Recent demonstrations across the nation have called for the removal of statues from city parks and government buildings. In one instance, a group of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, pulled down the statue of a Confederate soldier outside of the Durham County Courthouse.
Some time through the demonstration, a female placed a ladder on the back of the Confederate statue and climbed it with a yellow strap, CBS North Carolina reported. The crowd looking on cheered in unison as the strap is fastened to the monument’s body and is pulled to the ground.
Once the statue fell, some of the demonstrators ran in to spit on it, kick it and flip it off.
Watch the video of the entire ordeal below:
The Durham demonstration is one of many that have been held across the nation where people have rallied for the removal of the controversial statues.
On August 13, over 150 demonstrators rallied outside of the West Virginia Capitol to voice concern over a statue of “Stonewall” Jackson, a notable Confederate commander. The group has called on Governor Jim Justice to remove the statue because it represents hate.
“I want people to know that hillbillies do not stand for this type of hate,” Dustin White of Charleston told WSAZ 3 News. “This is an issue that has been laying under the surface for quite some time.”
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump let it be known which side of the spectrum he’s on during a press conference. Speaking to reporters at Trump Tower in New York, the president told reporters taking down the monuments is “changing history,” adding he could potentially see the removal of the Washington Monument if things stay as is.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump said. “I noticed Stonewall Jackson’s coming down, I wonder, is it George Washington next week? Is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
The potential of removing the Confederate symbols comes after a rally against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hundreds of white supremacists and members of hate groups flocked to the city, with much violence and chaos ensuring.
The rally also brought hundreds of counter protesters, who were doing just that when a vehicle driven by a suspect sped into a large group of them, killing one woman and injuring 19 others.
The events of the rally have increased the rate at which the symbols are being taken down across the nation, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Two statues were taken down immediately in Gainesville, Florida, while calls for widespread removals have been made in numerous states across the nation.
In Maryland, Republican Governor told the newspaper that he intended to push for the removal of a statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, whose ruling affirmed slavery.
“While we cannot hide from our history, nor should we, the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history,” Hogan, who at first resisted calls for its removal, said.
In total, there are approximately 1,503 symbols of the Confederacy seen in public places across the United States. Many of the monuments sit on government grounds at buildings such as state capitols or court houses, while other examples include parks named after notable figures of the Civil War or other expressions. Some of the symbols are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on Tuesday asked his city staff to appoint a task force to study the fate of Confederate monuments in the Texas city.
In Tennessee, Republican Governor Bill Haslam called for the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. According to The Tribune, similar plans to remove symbols of the Confederacy have been made in Memphis, San Antonio, Baltimore and Lexington Kentucky.