Thursday, February 01, 2018

Florida State Senate votes to replace statue of Confederate general in U.S. Capitol with civil rights leader.

The Florida state senate has voted to remove a Confederate general from the U.S. Capitol.

Each state has a right to place two statues in statuary hall in the Old Capitol building. One of Florida's statues is Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith and will be replaced by African American civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune.

The vote was 37 to 0. It is likely that the Florida House will get a majority to remove the statue.

There are several Confederate leaders and generals in Statuary Hall. Once one statue is removed, it will leader others in other states with Confederate leaders in Statuary Hall to ask that their state remove Confederate statues.

However, the website doesn't mention who is Confederate or not and you also have to pull up information state by state.

Kirby will not be the first Confederate removed, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, Alabama's statue, was replaced by Helen Keller in 2009. However, this change may not have been so much motivated by getting rid of a Confederate but putting a much more well known figure in DC.

Here is a list of the statues.

Again it doesn't say that the individual is a Confederate. There is a link for each individual. I see six or seven Confederates there including Kirby.

This removal also keeps the process going to eliminate Confederate statues. As soon as the removal of Confederate statues recedes form the public's attention, another removal somewhere brings it to the public's attention again and inspires someone somewhere to get rid of their Confederate statue.

Also, it brings to the public's attention that there is a whole new venue to act in removing Confederate statues.

As the statues are removed the normalization of the Confederacy will be less and less and the remaining statues, as I have said before, will seem more and more anomalous.

As there are fewer and fewer Confederate statues in major cities and then fewer Confederate statues in lesser cities, citizens in cities that still have Confederate statues are going to question their leadership as to why they still have Confederate statues. I think that this issue will raise to the surface the nature of the leadership in these cities that still have Confederate statues in 2020.

At some point a Confederate statue in the town square will be associated with a rural place that is backward and undesirable. At some point a factory or business won't be located somewhere because a Confederate statue will be seen as making it difficult to recruit potential employees to work there.

At that point there will be real pressure to get rid of Confederate statues in even the most rural conservative parts of the nation.

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