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The Great Memorial Debate: Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

August 23, 2017

It’s the great debate raging across the country: should memorials to Confederate soldiers stay or go?
 
This week, demonstrations have been held on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Va., have been covered with shrouds and a statue in a cemetery in Columbus, Ohio was vandalized. The issue is also heating up in Boston, where a Confederate monument on Georges Island was recently boarded up.
 
But the debate doesn’t stop at the statues. There are new questions about whether it’s time to revisit the name of Yawkey Way, which honors former Red Sox owner Thomas Yawkey, who was notoriously slow to integrate his team. Faneuil Hall is another landmark with a complicated past. The popular tourist destination was named after Peter Faneuil, who had ties to the slave trade.
 
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump made clear he doesn’t want to see the statues removed, saying “they’re trying to take our history away.” Is it time for memorials and statues honoring the Confederacy to come down or are we heading down a slippery slope?
 
Renée Graham of the Boston Globe; Kevin Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition; and Heather Cox Richardson, a political historian and history professor at Boston College joined Adam Reilly to debate the statues’ fate.


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