Remove and relocate the Confederate statue in downtown Cleveland

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In downtown Cleveland stands a 1910 memorial dedicated to Confederate soldiers. This monument is located at the intersection of Broad, Ocoee, and 8th. It lies directly across the street from Lee University, a Christan campus teeming with racial and international diversity, and breeds discomfort for many students (and residents) of color.  Therefore, this petition is calling for the removal of this statue as it no longer represents the ideals of the great city of Cleveland. This statue was erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy (DoC), an organization known for its incredibly racist and oppressive history. The DoC built this statue in a period of significant racial conflict with the intent to intimidate liberated African-Americans and promote a "white" America.

Furthermore, the confederacy represents slavery, racism, and a rebellion against the Union. This monument was erected to designate honor to the confederacy and the ideals it stood for–– the protection of slavery and secession from the United States. As our society continues to grapple with deep racial discord and tension, we cannot allow this statue––which holds the memory of un-American ideals, racial hatred, and violence––  to be promulgated in our city. Though it is essential to remember and reflect on our past, the location of the monument is inappropriate as it is an offensive and harmful reminder of the south's history of slavery and racial oppression. 

This statue honors a period of history that should be remembered but not celebrated. We do not need a statue situated on one of Cleveland's busiest streets to remember history. Those seeking the statue's removal understand the hesitation to demolish this mark of history. Hence, we petition that it at least be removed from its current location. More suitable locations include the statue placed within a civil war display at the Museum Center at 5ive Points or in Craigmiles House, Cleveland's Public Library History Branch and Archives. These are more appropriate and educational locations where individuals can learn more about this statue's history without holding it in a place of honor.

Though this symbol is a reminder of our past, it does not represent our future. Because this statute intended to promote fear and segregation, it's removal proclaims that Cleveland is intent on recognizing our past and refusing to honor such abhorrent history. To remove this statue shows that Cleveland welcomes and encourages racial diversity and Chrisitan values of love and acceptance.