An Open Letter from a Lexingtonian to Mayor Jim Gray
I emailed this to the mayor but also thought I’d post it here as well.
I just wanted to pass along my general joy that the statues in downtown Lexington featuring Confederate war heroes are coming down. It’s always been odd to pass a former slave market festooned with the outdated “heroes” of a treasonous war.
As I’m sure you’re aware, there has been movement from general Neo-Nazi groups to organize to come to Lexington to try and protest the statue removal. Due in part to the extreme violence that occurred the last time they were present in a location, and perhaps strengthened by the fact that I live within easy walking distance from those statues, I would like to petition to have the statues removed basically as soon as physically possible. Like, is tomorrow too soon for these symbols of hatred to be removed from our public space? From what I’ve seen from other demonstrations around the country, they’re not particularly hard to remove and seem kind of fragile anyway.
This is one of the few times I’ve been happy to see Kentucky in the national news, taking an opportunity to actually change the dialogue about a state that is often maligned and treated like the second class in American politics. I’m proud that we’re in national headlines because we’re taking effective motions towards removing statues supporting the confederacy.
In part of the Kentucky.com coverage of the potential forthcoming Nazi rally, one of the organizers said that the statues were a symbol of “heroes” and that people wanted them gone “because of the concern they could help light a fire under a new generation of white nationalists.” He’s not wrong. They’re a symbol of hatred. They’re a symbol of what has been wrong and what continues to be wrong with our country and our community. And the longer they’re there, they promote the idea that we as a city, state, and people are cool with the ideology that those men used to espouse.
Take down the statues before the Nazi’s are at our door.