Heritage or Hate?
In the past several weeks, the history of the Confederate States of America and its icons have been the center of attention nationwide. Shortly after the racially-charged massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, where 21-year-old mass murderer Dylann Roof killed nine African-American church members in Bible study, the Confederate flag was removed from state capitol buildings in South Carolina and Alabama.
After the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the question of whether Confederate monuments should remain in public spaces has been met with controversy and protest. Are the Confederate monuments offensive? Are they symbols of Southern pride and heritage? According to a CNN 2015 survey, 75% of Southern whites view it as a symbol of pride and 15% view it as racism. A poll was also taken with Southern African Americans where the results were almost completely reversed with 75% believing it is a symbol of racism and 11% seeing it as heritage. (1)