MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The SPLC Action Fund's Lecia Brooks released the statement below after the removal of the Adm. Raphael Semmes statue, which was vandalized during protests in Mobile this week. The Semmes statue has stood in downtown Mobile for 120 years and the event follows similar actions by local government officials in Birmingham and Montgomery from earlier this week.
“For more than a century, Confederate monuments have been used to glorify those who fought to keep Black people enslaved. Symbols such as this monument are a reminder of our country’s ongoing dehumanization of Black people and systemic racism – the results of which have been playing out through protests across the U.S. over the last two weeks.
“While it’s unclear if the removal is permanent, it’s encouraging that this symbol of revisionist history is gone from public land, and we urge public officials to put it away for good.
“Unrepentant symbols of oppression such as this monument continue to be displayed throughout Alabama’s government buildings, schools and parks, and are currently protected by the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act that protects symbols commemorating white supremacy and the brutal subjugation of Black communities. It goes against American ideals and should be repealed.”
The SPLC Action Fund does not support erasing history, nor the defacing and/or destruction of any historic artifact. Learn about Confederate symbols on public land in the SPLC’s “Whose Heritage?” report.