NAACP renews fight to remove Jefferson Davis statue from state capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- After Lexington’s Urban County Council unanimously passed a resolution last night to move two confederate statues that currently stand near the historic old courthouse downtown, many groups across the state are pushing to get other confederate statues removed including one in the state capitol rotunda.

In the days since Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced his plan to relocate the two confederate statues downtown, there’s been a lot of talk about what to do with the Jefferson Davis statue that stands in the capitol building.

The statue of Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy, is one of five statues that stand in the rotunda of the state capitol building.

“Jefferson Davis was a traitor and we don’t think that he deserves a place of honor in the Kentucky capitol,” said Raoul Cunningham, president of the Kentucky Chapter of the NAACP.

For more than a decade, the Kentucky Chapter of the NAACP has been fighting to get the statue removed.

“The statue in the rotunda says he was a hero and a patriot. He wasn’t a hero and he definitely wasn’t a patriot,” said Cunningham.

Now in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville and the decision by the city of Lexington to relocate two confederate statues, the organization is renewing their fight to get the statue out.

“It symbolizes Kentucky’s past history as it relates to slavery, as it relates to segregation,” said Cunningham.

But not everyone agrees on that, during an interview with WVHU radio in West Virginia Governor Matt Bevin said he thinks confederate statues should stay where they are.

“I absolutely disagree with this sanitization of history. If we want to learn from history, if we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of our past then we better teach it to our young people,” said Gov. Bevin.

Those with the NAACP say they’re not looking to sanitize history but put it in better context.

“There are only five statues in the capitol rotunda and I think the big question should be, should Jefferson Davis be one of them?” said Cunningham.

Leaders of the Kentucky Chapter of the NAACP say they are planning to host a meeting over the next few weeks to plot their course of action on how to get the statue removed as quickly as possible.

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