Black Leaders in Memphis Buy City Parks, Remove Confederate Statues

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Black Leaders in Memphis Buy City Parks, Remove Confederate Statues

This story is a week old, but you may have missed it in the holiday rush (we did), and it’s amazing enough to repeat. Via WaPo:

A private group headed by a county commissioner and fueled by anonymous donations bought two parks from the city of Memphis at little cost this week, allowing for the swift removal of two Confederate statues that had sparked conflict for years.

It seems that Van Turner, the Shelby County commissioner, used his group Memphis Greenspace Inc. to buy two city parks for $1,000 each after planning the move with the city attorney. The statues were removed last week:

“When we wake up tomorrow morning, we still will have issues with education, we still will have issues of poverty in this city, we still will have issues with public safety. This doesn’t resolve any of that,” Turner said. “What this does is move this out of the way. This is a non-issue now.”

That may be wishful thinking, of course—Vibe has a few more details, and they report that a group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans have already expressed their outrage on Facebook. It’s possible, and even likely, that lawsuits will follow, and Republican state congressmen have convened to “investigate.” Until this is resolved, the statues are being kept at an undisclosed location.

Either way, this is a bold and decisive move by Memphis, and it would be terrific to see other cities follow suit and end this “controversy” over Confederate statues once and for all.

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