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May 21

Louisville’s Open Season on Symbols of White Supremacy

The following communique was anonymously sent to It’s Going Down, which we reprint here.

Screenshot from KY Standard

It reads:

May 18th, 2019 – Louisville, KY

For the past couple of weeks, states all along the south officially observed a holiday dedicated to white supremacy known as “Confederate Day,” with even more scheduled in the following week. This holiday is ostensibly meant to mark the final surrenders of the Confederate army, and to honor those who died defending the chattel slave industry. In reality, it is nothing more than another disgusting tradition meant to intimidate people of color in these communities. It was begun by white supremacists who attempted to re-write history in order to soothe the bruises to their egos that losing the war brought them, and remind their black neighbors of “their place.”

In response, Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks and several other groups took to social media creating a national call to action against these abhorrent symbols and monuments and comrades in Lousiville enthusiastically answered. Several racist flags representing the Confederacy and support of racist murderous cops were removed from prominent displays and properly disposed of. And even the more permanent displays were not safe.

Beginning festivities early because it’s almost like Christmas, prior to yet another meeting of city officials on May 9th to determine whether the statue of racist traitor John Castleman would remain in its place of prominence in Cherokee Park, vandal(s) did yet another number on the statue in question, this time covering it with lavender paint. This marks the fifth time the statue has been vandalized in the past two years. Twice it was splattered with red paint, in August 2017 and again in February 2018. In April 2018, the word “RACIST” appeared in red spray paint on one side of the statue’s base along with the word “TRAITOR” in green on the opposite side. Later, the words “House the Homeless” and “No Borders” were found on the sides of the statue itself written with white paint.

Though unaware of the most recent act against the blatantly racist display (local media outlets did not report on the incident until much later in the day, mistakenly insisting that the incident had occurred after the hearing even though it had rained all day) the Metro Louisville Landmark Commission nevertheless narrowly ruled in favor of the statue’s relocation to Cave Hill Cemetery, where John Castleman is buried, along with several other Confederate soldiers and officers. Though celebrated as a victory for the decent citizens of Louisville, there is a real concern that the decision will be appealed yet again in order to delay the statue’s inevitable removal. It’s also worth noting that this decision would have been unthinkable prior to the radical actions which turned the monument into such an eyesore that even the bourgeois liberals could no longer abide it taking such a prominent space in their neighborhood.

Though not reported in the news, the Confederate Monument in Bardstown, located in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, was also targeted. This 116-year-old monument, which was dedicated by the notorious historical revisionist and white supremacist organization the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was covered in red paint and apparently sprayed with some sort of acid. Of note, a relief carving of the face of Robert E Lee was particularly targeted by the vandals. The extent of the damage caused is unknown as of yet and as of this writing, damage to this precious statue, despite having spent a small fortune of taxpayer money repairing it from storm damage in May 2000, seems to have gone unnoticed. The white tears when they do notice will be interesting to observe, especially when it took them so long to even see it.

Any attack against white supremacy and its symbols should be seen as an act of solidarity. So many successful acts carried out in our city, with no arrests made and no reported injuries, fills us with pride in our city and hope for the future. But the war does not stop and start on a single day or week, and neither should we.

Every day is a good day to destroy symbols of white supremacy.

Signing off,
Louisville, KY

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Anonymous Contributor

This submission came to It's Going Down anonymously through itsgoingdown.org/contribute. IGD is not the author nor are we responsible for the post content.

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