Four women were arrested in Asheville, North Carolina Friday for vandalizing a Robert E. Lee plaque. And in Arizona, a roadside monument to Jefferson Davis was literally tarred and feathered. From Fox 10:
“It is vandalism,” said Tom Hill of Mesa. “This is state property. State property. It is vandalism. The state controls this.”
This is the second monument to be defaced in the past several days. The Confederate Troops Memorial outside the Arizona Capitol was spray painted white sometime before Thursday morning.
— Steve Krafft Fox 10 (@SKrafftFox10) August 17, 2017
The Jefferson Davis Highway in Arizona is named for the Confederate president. Why does a western state have monuments to Confederates? As this Arizona Central article points out before it became a state a portion of Arizona was a Confederate territory. There was even one small battle during the Civil War which took place south of Phoenix. A Democratic Representative called for removing the monuments in 2015, but nothing ever came of it:
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Doug Ducey at the time promised to look into renaming the highway.
But neither Bolding nor Ducey — nor anyone else — asked the state Board on Geographic and Historic Names to consider a name change, according to spokesman Matt Roberts.
Lobbyist Kevin DeMenna, who chairs the state’s Legislative Governmental Mall Commission, said there are no recent requests to the commission to consider removing the memorial.
Also today, four women in Asheville, North Carolina were arrested for trying to pry a plaque dedicated to Robert E. Lee from a stone block. From WYFF4:
Public information officer Christina Hallingse said officers were called around 7:40 a.m. about a report of vandalism at the Vance Monument in Pack Square.
Several protesters were attempting to vandalize the smaller monument, she said.
— Cody Alcorn (@CodyAlcorn) August 18, 2017
I’m already on record saying I don’t think any community should be stuck with monuments people no longer support. But vandalism can not be allowed to become a shortcut for people who have political disagreements. There is a legal way to have monuments removed.