SPLC statement on Confederate monument lawsuit against Birmingham, Alabama

The following statement, regarding the Alabama attorney general suing the city of Birmingham, Alabama, today for obstructing a Confederate monument, is by Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center:

“In the wake of deadly violence in Charlottesville, cities around the country are questioning why in a nation dedicated to equality for all, we continue to celebrate and memorialize the Confederacy. Some of these cities are even removing Confederate monuments from public spaces. But in Alabama, state officials are suing the city of Birmingham for trying to do what is right.

“The Alabama Legislature should never have passed a law banning the removal of these symbols which represent the oppression of an entire race. Governor Kay Ivey should never have signed it. If the leaders of Birmingham – a city forever linked to the civil rights movement – believe such monuments do not represent their city’s values, they should have the ability to remove them.

This law demonstrates that white supremacy and hate prevail in Alabama. It will continue to force people of color to live and work in communities where they remain in the shadow of the Confederacy.”