Hurricane Laura Blows Down And Destroys Controversial Confederate Statue
The South's Defenders Monument previously stood outside the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Despite earning a reprieve after calls to dismantle the statue were quashed by a vote from the local government, it was toppled as the Category 4 hurricane hit Louisiana.
The statue has been there since 1915, but has attracted criticism in recent times - as many monuments have - for perceived glorification of slavery.
On 13 August, a vote was taken on whether it should stay up, but the authorities voted 10-4 in favour of the statue remaining.
As well as that, the Calcasieu Parish asked for public comments, and received 878 written responses asking for the monument to stay, compared to 67 in favour of shifting it.
The horrific storm has ripped straight through the state of Louisiana on Thursday, killing at least six people and causing a lot of damage.
It's one of the most powerful storms that has ever hit the state.
The monument has been a divisive issue for the people of the southern state, because of the Confederate army's defence of slavery against the pro-abolition Northern forces of the Union.
However, some folks really didn't want it to come down.
One resident, Gordon Simmons, said of calls to remove the statue: "This is political insanity and the scrubbing of our history has to stop,"
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However, another resident, Lois Malveaux, said: "Being a Black woman, the pain is real in my soul."
An online petition on Change.org calling for the removal of the statue garners 2,100 signatures. The author, Ashlyn S. Hibbs wrote: "The statues do not educate the nation; they glorify defenders of slavery.
"These monuments do not teach about the horrors of the American Civil War, nor do they remind of us why the battles were fought.
"They simply cast a halo around those who died in a war that primarily sought to cement a place for slavery in our nation's future, and they do so under the guise of honouring the dead."
"This monument brings no pride to Lake Charles. It brings no financial support, draws no tourism, and serves only to overlook the atrocities committed in the name of the Confederacy throughout history.
"The monument stands for a history of oppression for a community that makes up about half of Lake Charles' population, and it disgusts the allies who stand with them.
"Lake Charles is not represented by a bygone era of violence and slavery."
Either way, it's gone now. Once the storm is over, we'll have to see if it stays down.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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