(This is the job of a state government to impose itself between its citizens and the will of a highly vocal and miniscule rabble. But the laws are no good if not enforced! – DD)
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(USA Today) – For over a century, a life-size statue of a Confederate soldier has stood atop a towering monument in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The city administrator had considered removing the monument for years. Then the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by white police officers in Minneapolis in 2020 ignited a national conversation about Confederate monuments and sparked new calls to take it down. A local construction company even offered to help.
“This statue is a clear and present ode to the values of the Confederacy that we do not share,” residents wrote in a petition to the city.
But before local leaders could decide its fate, the Arkansas Legislature revoked their power.
Citing the “vandalism” of monuments, Republican state lawmakers passed a law in 2021 that prevents Fort Smith from removing its monument and supplants local control over dozens of other statues across the state.
Arkansas is one of many Southern states that have passed historic preservation laws to strip local leaders of the power to take down Confederate monuments in their communities. Bills in former Confederate states such as Texas and Florida could pass in Republican-controlled legislatures this year. Now, similar bills are appearing in states that were not part of the Confederacy, including…