Remove the Confederate monument from Jacksonville, AL square

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The Confederate Soldiers monument in the Jacksonville, AL town square was paid for and placed by Jacksonville's Forney Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in 1909. The inscription reads, in part, "Let none of the survivors of these men offer in their behalf the penitential plea, ‘They believed they were right.’ Be it ours to transmit to posterity our unequivocal confidence in the righteousness of the cause for which these men died.”

Many of us who work, live, and study in Jacksonville have no such confidence. This monument's placement in our public space implies that we the people of Jacksonville support the UDC's intentions to memorialize and preserve what the UDC called "true history."

The UDC's "true history" tells a story of white nobility and martyrdom and leaves out the story of a cruel economy based on the kidnapping, abuse, disenfranchisement, enslavement, and destruction of black bodies. The UDC's "true history" silences the voices of the men and women on whose backs it was built.

Public spaces are supposed to represent the public. But this monument's installation was not a public act, and it was installed in a public space by intentionally denying access and representation to African Americans. We propose that this monument does not represent the values of the Jacksonville community, and we propose its removal from our public space.