CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel recently began the process of demolishing Capers Hall, which was named for two brothers who fought to preserve chattel slavery during the Civil War.
The following statement is from SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks:
“There is a difference between remembering history and showing reverence for it. Removing namesakes that celebrate a revisionist Confederate past does not erase history, it corrects it.
“Since the Charleston church shooting in 2015, Confederate symbols have not only been removed in many of the six states with preservation laws (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) but also have been relocated, replaced and renamed.*
“This is why grassroots groups like Repeal the Heritage Act have been advocating to rename buildings glorifying racists on school campuses, and we will continue to support their efforts. These types of solutions show respect to all who live, work and play in these communities, attend public schools and value our shared American experiences and history.
“Although there are currently no plans to change the name of Capers Hall, its demolition invites a unique opportunity for The Citadel to take the lead and proactively rename this building after someone that the entire Charleston community can be proud of.
“We are also encouraged by the South Carolina Supreme Court’s initial arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Heritage Act and encourage them to trust the will of communities by allowing to them to decide what they want to see in their public spaces."
*In South Carolina, 218 Confederate symbols remain on public land; 60 of those symbols are monuments. Although 2020 saw a record number of Confederate symbols removed from public spaces across the U.S., South Carolina was one of the few states that did not remove, rename or relocate any symbols of white supremacy.