Confederate statue controversy hits Houston

HOUSTON – There's a battle brewing in the United States, and how government officials should answer to it is causing even more tension, including in Houston.

"This is a defining moment and the question is, how are we going to answer?" Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

At issue are Confederate monuments in public spaces and whether they should be taken down.

"You just can't all of a sudden say, 'We're going to go in and tear down everything.' That's not the answer," Turner said. "We all have values that we want to protect and we can hold to those values and we can do it in a very peaceful, respectful way."

This debate follows the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Like a number of cities across the country, some people in Houston are asking the city's mayor to take down Confederate monuments, arguing the monuments glorify negative aspects of American history.

One local group has started a petition to remove a statue from Sam Houston Park.

Another group is planning a protest to have it taken down.

The answer, according to Turner, is to take an inventory of all the city's monuments and present it to a group of people, including local historians that he will choose to study each one.

Texas representatives talk about President Donald Trump's latest comments:

WATCH: Reaction from Sen. Cruz, Rep. Green

Houston U.S. Rep. Gene Green and Sen. Ted Cruz are among the many politicians on both sides of the aisle reacting to President Donald Trump's latest comments on the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I think there is blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it and you have no doubt about it. Either you have a group on one side that was bad - group on the other side that was very violent," Trump said.

"The president speaks for himself," Cruz said. "The Klan is evil they are racist bigots, Nazis are the very face of evil. Their hatred ... their anti-semitism is completely unacceptable."

Green said the country needs stronger leadership in the White House.

"To defend someone who is a racist or anti-semitic that is not what any president of the United States should ever do," Green said.

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