Who is next? Washington? Jefferson? Lincoln?
Cities and states accelerated their plans to remove Confederate monuments from public property Tuesday as the violence over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, moved leaders across the country to plan to wipe away much of the remaining Old South imagery.
Only two statues were taken down immediately, in Gainesville, Florida, where the Daughters of the Confederacy removed a statue of a Confederate soldier known as “Ole Joe,” and in Durham, North Carolina, where protesters used a rope to pull down a Confederate monument dedicated in 1924.
But the anti-Confederate momentum seemed to ensure that other memorials would come down soon. Many local and state governments announced that they would remove statues and other imagery from public land, or consider doing so, in the aftermath of Saturday’s white nationalist rally that killed one person and injured dozens more.
The changes were publicized as President Donald Trump defended Confederate statues in wide-ranging remarks.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” Trump said during a visit to Trump Tower in New York. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”