Petition calls for removal of Confederate statue at Madison Coun - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Petition calls for removal of Confederate statue at Madison County Courthouse

A petition is calling for the removal of this statue outside the Madison County Courthouse. (Source: WAFF) A petition is calling for the removal of this statue outside the Madison County Courthouse. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A new online petition is rehashing an old debate in downtown Huntsville over a confederate statue outside the Madison County Courthouse.

It’s circulating online as Alabama lawmakers consider a bill that that would keep city leaders from taking down any Confederate monuments across the state.

The petition is sponsored by several local organizations in the Huntsville area. It's asking that the statue of a Confederate soldier be removed from the Madison County Courthouse.

Organizers say they would like to see the statue relocated to a museum or a place designated for the memory of confederates. They claim the statue represents white supremacy and it shouldn't be outside of a government building.

“When the statue was placed in 1905, that same year there was a lynching right here at the courthouse square,” said historian and petition organizer Jane DeNeefe. “And so, during that time period, not only was there a period of racial terror throughout, including Alabama and Huntsville, but also the United Daughters of Confederacy was taking charge of the state textbooks and the monuments throughout the state."

“They sort of hijacked an interpretation of the history that discredited African Americans as well as people from the North and created a mythical version of confederates that was more heroic,” said DeNeefe.

(PRODUCER'S NOTE: The lynching DeNeefe referred to occurred in 1904.)

Madison County commissioners struck down the idea to remove the statue in 2015. Back then, the Sons of Confederate Veterans said removing confederate monuments was a “direct assault” against their memory.

“When the commissioners decided not to move the statue, first of all, they weren't presented with a clear, historical case explaining why it should be moved and what was wrong with it but more importantly they had not seen a petition signed by citizens asking them to remove it,” said DeNeefe.

Organizers say they disagree with the confederate monument bill and they don't believe it will pass at the state capitol.

Meantime, they'll continue their fight to have this confederate statue removed.

Click here for the petition.

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