The clash in Charlottesville surrounding the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Emancipation Park has ignited a rebellion in cities. Nationwide this week, several mayors and governors have waded into the debate over the removal of these emblems of the Lost Cause.
The movement echoes the aftermath of the 2015 shooting in the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, which led to the removal of the Confederate flag on the South Carolina capitol grounds. At that time, several cities experienced protests over the ubiquitous symbols of the Confederacy scattered all across the United States. But last weekend's events, combined with President Trump’s statements about white supremacists, have accelerated city efforts to get these monuments out of the public eye, following the example set in New Orleans by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in April.