After this weekend’s “Alt Right” aka “Racist Nazi White Power Bigots” rally in Charlottesville Virginia which led to confrontations with anti-Nazi protesters and the death of one woman, there have been increased calls for the removal of statues and memorials that honor Confederate leaders and veterans who fought for the losing side in the United States Civil War from 1861-1865. Advocates for their removal claim that the memorials honor and commemorate white supremacy, pro-slavery, anti-black, and racist positions of white privilege and it’s wrong to honor any individual/group that fought for such beliefs. The removal of Confederate memorials and iconography like the “Stars and Bars” Confederate flag have caused demonstrations and rallies throughout much of the South but little has been said about such memorials in non-Southern cities.
“Ian S.” has created a Change.org petition asking Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council to remove a Confederate Veteran’s memorial in Lake View Cemetery, the main Seattle cemetery that abuts Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park and the final resting place for many of Seattle’s earliest citizens of the 19th and 20th century.
I am calling on Mayor Ed Murray and our Seattle City Council for the removal of the United Confederate Veterans Memorial in Volunteer Park’s Lake View Cemetery (Seattle).
Erected in 1926 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it was built to memorialize and commemorate the hate that ripped our country in two. It seeks to remind everyone that – despite losing a war – that White Supremacy is still alive and revered as a positive trait for (white) Americans to have. The fact that it still stands is a testament to how desperately White people clench to their race-based power.
The granite was intentionally shipped from Georgia’s racist-monument Stone Mountain after the re-birth of the KKK in the early part of the 20th Century. This monument is not a gravestone and does not represent any particular person or family lost during the Civil War.
It deserves to be ripped down and removed. It serves no purpose other than to continue to seed divisiveness and hate throughout Seattle and stands as a testament of our local government’s continued complicity in suppressing and oppressing minority voices in Seattle.
As leaders of our great city, your inaction on the statue’s removal will rest solely on your shoulders.
*THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME WE – THE PEOPLE OF SEATTLE – HAVE DEMANDED THIS STATUE BE REMOVED*
Thousands have signed the petition but Mayor Murray is aware of the call to remove the memorial and actually responded with this statement this afternoon:
“We must remove statues and flags that represent this country’s abhorrent history of slavery and oppression based on the color of people’s skin. It is the right thing to do. During this troubling time when neo-Nazis and white power groups are escalating their racist activity, Seattle needs to join with cities and towns across the country who are sending a strong message by taking these archaic symbols down.
“The monument to Confederate soldiers in the Lake View Cemetery is located on private property. My office has called the cemetery operator to express our concerns regarding the monument. As we continue our ongoing proactive work to be an inclusive and welcoming community, we must also join the fight against the mainstreaming of hateful and despicable far-right political ideology.”
Lake View Cemetery is not a city owned property and is owned and managed by a non-profit association which would have to make any decision to remove the memorial. They can be contacted via their website, HERE or by contacting these people: