DALLAS (CBS11) – Whether it’s “rewriting history,” as critics have claimed, or putting Dallas’ past in perspective, it’s clear what started with the removal of the monument to Robert E. Lee isn’t over.
The Confederate War Memorial at Pioneer Plaza will also be targeted for removal.
“I think we will never be a world class city if we allow confederate monuments that are not relics of history; but, racist propaganda to continue to sit on city property,” says Sara Mokuria.
Mokuria represents District 2 on the Mayor’s Confederate Monuments Task Force.
She was one of 11 members of the task force voting on Friday to recommend to the council that the monument which pays tribute to Texas soldiers who died during the civil war be moved.
Monuments, however, are not the only tributes to the Confederacy targeted for change.
Dallas’ Park and Recreation Board Friday morning voted to return Lee Park to its original name: Oak Lawn Park. It’s a temporary change, though, until the park which once paid tribute to Robert E. Lee is permanently renamed. The name changes comes one week after the Lee monument at the park was removed.
“They rewrote history when they put this up,” says Lee Daughtery, who says he has lived in the area for 14 years. “It was a subjugation. It was a signal to black Americans that white supremacy still reigned. I’m happy to see the beginning of the dismantling of it here in Dallas and across this nation.”
Dallas’ newfound conscience, however, could be costly.
City staffers estimate that it could cost some $800,000 for the Confederate War Memorial to be removed.
So Buddy Apple, representing District 1 on the monument task force, voted ‘no’. He recommended using the money to instead, “create an educational space there where it already sits.”
Apple encouraged the task force to turn what had been a tribute to the confederacy into a place with additional monuments and plaques that would tell a more complete history of the confederacy– including slaves, freed blacks and Native Americans.
Nevertheless, the majority of the task force recommended that the war memorial be moved.
Other recommendations from the task force include the renaming of several streets that currently honor confederate generals: Lee, Cabell, Gano, Beauregard and Stonewall.
Removing the monuments and changing street names are all costly endeavors. But, Michael Waters, representing District 14 said, “We have these conversations about beauty and money,” said Waters, “I don’t hear as many conversations about justice and morality. Price tag is never too great to do what’s right.”