PHOENIX (KSAZ) – It was a movement that started in the South, and now, it is in Arizona.
A group of black leaders, including those with the NAACP, wants to start removing Confederate markers from public land in the state.
While Arizona does not have a deep Civil War history, when compared with some other states, there is a history, with the most notable being a battle that was fought near Picacho Peak, in 1862.
Markers and monuments commemorating Arizona’s part in Civil War history can be found at Picacho State Park, at the State Capitol, and along US60, in various markers and monuments. Monuments at the State Capitol, as well as a highway marker in the far East Valley that honors Jefferson Davis, the first President of the Confederate States of America, are just two of the monuments the NAACP wants removed from public land.
“When you look at Arizona today, we have six monuments highways or statues that are using taxpayer dollars to actually prop up what we would consider terrorism of its day,” said State Rep. Reginald (D-Disrict 27)
State Rep. Bolding, along with other black community leaders, wrote a letter to Governor Doug Ducey, saying the monuments are symbols that honor hate and separation, and should be removed from public land.
“Arizona has had a marred image of being on the other side and not supporting people of color,” said Warren Stewart Jr. “I think we should take a stand, just like other states that have torn down their monuments.”
There are people, however, who want the Confederate monuments to stay where they are.
“This is ludicrous,” said Curt Tipton with the Arizona Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, via a phone interview. “This is part of the state’s history. Removing those monuments won’t change a thing with the problems facing the black community.”
Tipton said they will go to the Arizona Legislature, and even to go to court, to keep all monuments right where they are.
“We will fight it,” said Tipton. “We are opposed to removing any historical monument, no matter who it commemorates or what it commemorates.”