Remove the Confederate Monument Located on University of Florida Property
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This petition is for the removal of the monument to Confederate General William Wing Loring on prominent public display in downtown St. Augustine, Florida. It is located on property owned by the University of Florida.
Signers of this petition hold that this monument represents a glorification of the Confederate ideology that defended the preservation and expansion of the unethical institution of slavery, and that the University of Florida should therefore remove it from its place of prominent public display in recognition that this ideology does not reflect the university’s values and out of respect for the millions of victims of slavery.
General William Loring was a complex and interesting man, who, among other things, was a general in the army of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He thus fought for an organization dedicated to the preservation and expansion of slavery. The St. Augustine monument to Loring was constructed in 1920 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 34 years after his death.
It is not the intention of the signers of this petition to remove the memory of General Loring from history. He, and his monument, are well documented in numerous publications. His monument could be appropriately displayed in a museum setting that provides historical contextualization with reference to the complexities of American history needed to better understand General Loring’s life in the 19th century, the United Daughter’s of the Confederacy’s campaign to construct the monument in the early 20th century, and the meaning of the monument to successive generations. However, without the appropriate museum contextualization, the monument should not remain on public display. While a marker of the past, such a monument exists in the present and has the potential to influence the future. The words on this monument to General Loring proclaim its purpose: “That the record of his life be an inspiration to American Youth.” We must not let his misdeeds be an inspiration to our youth.
It is recognized that General Loring’s cremated remains are located at this site, and that all grave sites should be treated with respect no matter the actions and ideologies of the interred individuals. The remains should therefore be removed to a private cemetery, or remain at the site separate from this monument.
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