I’ve thought a lot about the issue of whether we should move his statue from the Capitol rotunda and have decided---leave it alone.
There are several reasons but my chief one is this: the prominent place it now has serves as a reminder of Kentucky’s past history of “race relations”---and it is not good. Move the statue and we have one less reason to remember our history here, and we need constant reminders of it.
It’s not just that “Kentucky waited til the Civil War was over before joining the loser,” which is true, as one of our historians wrote. If you want to learn about how badly we treated “our blacks” and this is an aberration, Google “Caroline Turner + Lexington” and be horrified. I went to a lecture several years ago by UK History professor Mark Summers and was appalled by his recital of how Kentucky lynched and beat and denied rights to “our blacks” after the War and for many years thereafter. (The last public hanging in the U-S---not lynching, but…was of a black man in Owensboro in the mid 1930s.)
I don’t like the idea of one generation rewriting the history of a previous time...no matter how “good” the idea behind it is. It smacks of political correctness to the Nth degree.
Actually as the only state where BOTH presidents were born…Lincoln and Jefferson Davis...Kentucky ought to capitalize on that unique heritage. We might sponsor an annual conference to improve race relations and hold it in Frankfort. (We could start by having the new pastor of Charleston’s Emanuel AME church do the invocation and sermon.)
Hang Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree if you want, but I think we need to leave his statue alone.
I'm just sayin'...