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DALLAS (CBS11) – Historic statues or symbols of hate?

Across the country, and now here in Dallas, some people, including the Dallas NAACP, want to remove confederate statues on public property.

These calls have come ever since the racially motivated shootings at a historic African-American church in South Carolina.

Dallas NAACP President Arthur Fleming says, “We think all monuments and statues that are in public places should be removed because they’re offensive to my community.”

Fleming met with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Friday about setting up a commission to evaluate if and where to move some of the statues.

In a statement to CBS-11, Mayor Rawlings says “I have asked Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Erik Wilson to take a leadership role in listening to the community and developing options on this matter. I am confident he will work with the NAACP and other key stakeholders in that effort.”

But not everyone agrees with the NAACP. Gary Bray is the Commander of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose members’ relatives fought during the Civil War. Bray says, “We don’t see them as offensive at all.”

He says the statues aren’t promoting the confederacy or slavery, but serve as a memorial for the soldiers — something he says shouldn’t be ignored.

Fleming says while he wants to move the statues from public property, he doesn’t want to erase history. “No, Texas history like all history should be taught in the books.”

Bray says, “I think it is erasing history. You can take all the monuments down, you can take all of the flags away, you can not discuss issues, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to go away.”

Bray believes the state should protect confederate statues such as those in Robert E. Lee Park and in the Pioneer Park Cemetery in Dallas.

A spokesman with the Texas Historical Commission says the statues in both parks are not considered official state antiquities landmarks, and so it would be up to the city to decide what, if anything, to do with the statues.

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