Democratic Party Of Arkansas Calls For Confederate Monument Removal

The Confederate soldiers monument at the state Capitol.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Democratic Party of Arkansas is calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments on public grounds. The state Legislature is not currently in session and no Democrats have volunteered themselves to lead any such effort. But the state party said in a statement that Confederate monuments only belong in museums and on private land.

“The time has come for these symbols of our past to be placed in museums and privately owned spaces rather than to continue to occupy public lands.

Monuments are symbols and symbols can sometimes have meanings that are not unilaterally shared across communities. Objects that romanticize the darkest days of our history do not belong on taxpayer funded public grounds.

Our nation was built on values of inclusion and free speech and it is incumbent upon us to always strive for a more perfect union. We can do this by filling our public spaces with new symbols of everything we hope to be rather than what we once were.”

Earlier this week Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) said monuments to the Confederacy, like those at the state Capitol, should remain in place. In the last legislative session the governor vocally pushed for legislation to end Arkansas's dual state holiday celebrating Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr. on the same day. That effort succeeded with bi-partisan support to Hutchinson's delight.

Republicans control supermajorities in both state legislative chambers, hold every state Constitutional office, and every Congressional seat. Several Republicans who supported ending the Lee-King dual state holiday have already said they do not support monument removal.