Houston group asks mayor to remove Confederate statue from downtown park

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - A determined crowd pulled down a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina Monday.

More than 1,000 miles away stands a bronze statue in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston.

It is called “The Spirit of the Confederacy.”

It was built more than 100 years ago.

A plaque reads, “To all heroes of the South who fought for the Principles of States Rights.”

"We've gotten a pretty strong, positive reaction,” said Michael Leone of the Young Communist League in Houston.

The group started a petition asking Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to remove the monument.

The petition said the group did not want to erase the past, but not glorify it either.

"We would like to see monuments that represent white supremacy and the Confederacy removed because we don't think they belong in a place for public respect or public admiration," Leone said.

Several people spoke before the Houston City Council Tuesday asking the city to remove the statue. The mayor responded and said the Houston Parks Department could inventory and list all Civil War monuments and make a recommendation on what would happen next.

"It is my hope that we can, in a very positive and constructive way, move forward," Turner said.

No date has been set for action on the issue.

"We absolutely need to need to understand our history. All of the good stuff and the bad stuff,” said University of St. Thomas history professor Lisa Mundey, Ph.D.

She told KPRC 2 that when portraying history, you must look at multiple perspectives, beyond the white population in the North and South.

"We must also look at black Americans. They didn't get the statues. They didn't get the monuments. And what about the victims of slavery? They don't have monuments either. We don't have monuments to the slave blocks and the slave ships, to the inhumanity that we traded slaves," Mundey said.

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