The controversial debate over what to do with Confederate monuments in Houston continued Tuesday, as more than 20 people signed up to give the mayor and city council a piece of their mind.
The debate involves two monuments within Houston city limits: The Spirit of the Confederacy statue at Sam Houston Park downtown, as well as the Dick Dowling statue along Cambridge Street near Hermann Park.
Most of the speakers at City Hall on Tuesday supported keeping the statue, with a couple of people suggesting that removing the statues would start the city down a slippery slope of erasing parts of history that leaders disagree with.
Others argued the context of when and why the statues were built is important.
“This statue is not even visible from the street as are other similar statues, but I’ve come to realize there is a witch hunt out there, and their agenda is conquer and divide,” said Kathryn Jones, who wants to keep the statues.
“They were built as part of a larger project to erase and sanitize confederate history,” said Edward Barlow, who wants to see a marker offering context placed next to the monuments. “It was at the heart of the project that the early Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups that sought to disenfranchise and control African-Americans through terrorism.”
There are many Houstonians that are offended by those statues. Black Lives Matter held a protest attended by hundreds over the weekend calling on the statues to be removed.
Mayor Sylvester Turner has said he’s putting together a team that includes history professors from local universities to look at the context and placement of each statue. Turner says his goal is not to erase history.