DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings called for the formation of a task force to determine the fate of Confederate statues sitting in Dallas public parks.
“This is simple. We could remove them, the question is, how do we heal on this issue? To do that we have to talk and listen to one another,” said Rawlings.
Coupled with citizen input, the task force will report to the city council during the next 90 days.
The most prominent display of the city’s endorsement of the Confederacy is found in Lee Park and the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
The statue, along with the Confederate War Memorial downtown are just two exhibits facing removal, after a coalition of Dallas community and religious leaders issued a letter calling for such action.
Another group made up of predominantly African Americans called for the monuments on Monday to remain standing. They said the monuments “tell an important story and help heal racial wounds.”
But Rawlings called the public displays “monuments of propaganda,” and acknowledged the rising cry to remove them from city-owned land.
“There is an offense that’s brought to mind with the presence of these statues,” said Gerald Britt about the historic statues on display for more than a century.
Numerous Neo-Nazi and white supremacists hate groups have aligned themselves to confederacy symbols and the recent controversy surrounding their proposed removal.
An anti-white supremacy rally is set for Saturday outside Dallas City Hall.
Rawlings has acknowledged concern that counter-protestors will be present but is adamant police won’t tolerate any violence.