On Confederates and Their Monuments

D. Elisabeth Glassco
5 min readJul 7, 2022
Jim Bowen, Stone Mountain Carving, Flickr

In a February 3, 2022 article, CNN reported that in 2021, “73 Confederate monuments were removed or renamed” in the United States, leaving 723 left.

The article was based on a report, “Whose Heritage,” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This report, according to the draft, goes toward “eradicating hate and white supremacy” in collaboration with activists nationwide.


To those who rejoice at this long overdue historical reckoning, don’t break out the champagne yet. The lost cause (and the neo-lost cause animating the January 6 insurrection) is still percolating. It hasn’t survived over a century by its proponents being meek and mild or short on strategy. All over the America, the battle of the monuments rages on — -facts vs lies and who controls history rages undimmed.

Kevin Seefried, a Jan. 6 rioter walking through the U.S. Capitol with a Confederate flag, an historic first. Saul Loeb? AP via Getty Images.

See here, here. here and, of course, the grandaddy of all confederate genuflections, here

The writer, Elizabeth Alexander, in her new book, The Trayvon Generation, writes:

“Monuments put forth ideas and look forward, even when their content is historical…They chart future values by what they revere.”

Which brings us to questions we should be asking in this moment:

1. If they are removed, what should go up in place of these memorials to white supremacy that have come down across the U.S.?


2. What types of memorials or public memory practices should communities adopt?

To the first:

It is easy to target Confederate statues for removal because their placement was always objectionable — -by not only African-Americans but also by Union veterans. The confederacy was brought into being to destroy the union of…



D. Elisabeth Glassco

A native of of the great state of Mississippi and proud resident of New Jersey. Lecturer and Doctoral candidate in Media, Race, Class, and Politics @Rutgers.