U of L students react to decision to remove Confederate monument from campus
A confederate statue no longer has a home on the U of L campus. After years of talk, the monument will be moved to a new home.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A confederate statue no longer has a home on the U of L campus. After years of talk, the monument will be moved to a new home.
The monument currently stands 70 feet tall and has looked down on the University of Louisville campus since 1895.
"You walk by it so many times you don't even pay attention to it anymore," said student Caitlin Edwards. "You get used to seeing it...In a way that is sad."
But when Edwards passes the statue off 3rd Street, she sees one thing.
"Slavery," Edwards said. "The blood the sweat and the tears of my ancestors."
Today, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and U of L President James Ramsey told the public that the monument would be moved to a different location.
"The stain of slavery and racism that this monument represents for many people has no place in a compassionate forward-looking city," Mayor Fischer said.
Governments and universities across the country are re-evaluating similar displays. U of L is also trying to repair its public image after a picture of President Ramsey in a sombrero, and reports of racial tension in a campus dorm.
"We have a responsibility to our students to provide a world class education committed to the values we hold dear," Ramsey said.
Not all students support the change.
"I feel like it should stay there," said student Megan Wurth. "You can't erase the past, you have to learn from it. It's not there to offend anyone -- it's to memorialize what happened."
The monument stands next to Freedom Park, as well as markers documenting the nation's path out of a dark history. Professor Ricky Jones and students have campaigned for the statue to come down for nearly 20-years.
"Really happy and I wish we would have taken a no-comprise stance earlier," Jones said.
Work started immediately. We're told the statue will come down in pieces and essentially go into storage, clearing the way for a wider entrance into the Speed Art Museum.
The school is considering four places to move the monument, including a Confederate cemetery.
Edwards says she is relieved that when she returns to campus this fall, the reminder of the scars of history will be history.
"It's not going to eliminate racism, of course, but it's a great step in the right direction," she said.
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