The University of Louisville and the city of Louisville announced Friday that a monument (at right) that salutes Confederate soldiers from Kentucky who died in the Civil War will be removed from the university campus and eventually placed elsewhere. “We are not here to erase history, but we are here to announce that this statue should be situated somewhere more appropriate than a modern campus that celebrates its diversity,” said a statement from James Ramsey, the university's president. “Kentucky certainly played a unique role in the Civil War, but it is the culture of inclusion we strive for each day at U of L that will define our future. Over the years, our campus has grown to encircle this monument, which does not symbolize the values of our campus community or that of a 21st-century institution of higher education.”
Many have been pushing for years for the statue's removal. A recent essay by Ricky L. Jones, professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at Louisville, said, "Let me be clear about what the battle flag, statues and other symbols of the Confederacy are. They are representations of hate, emptied-out ideas of racial superiority, inhumanity and devilishness. The Civil War was not a war of 'northern aggression' fought by sympathetic, victimized Gone With the Wind characters. It was a war about slavery -- plain and simple. It was a conflict the South started to maintain its right to continue playing pharaoh and endlessly force its black brutes to make bricks out of straw. Every battle flag, T-shirt and monument to these inhumane traitors reminds us of that fact."
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