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Charleston plaque removal sparks debate

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 3:06 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - History not only defines our past, but influences our future.

“In my entire life I’ve never been more proud to be a Charlestonian.”

For Charleston native Howard Slint, that feeling came after the city of Charleston’s decision to remove the plaque from the Kanawha Riflemen Monument that had ties to the Confederacy.

“It’s high time that it had been taken down,” Slint said.

“It needed to be taken out and so we did it. It was the right thing to do,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin.

The plaque was controversial because of its connection to the United Daughters of Confederacy.

“There was a revival of white supremacy that was championed by the KKK and the United Daughters of Confederation. Anything that had to do with equal rights, they were opposed to it,” Slint said.

While Howard’s future is influenced with a clean slate, others like Ernest Blevins feels like the plaque should have stayed put.

“They may have done things or believe things that we don’t agree with now, but projecting back on them would be a disservice to them,” Blevins said.

Wishing he got a say before it was too late.

“Nobody had heard any rumblings or anything about this being removed. There was no contact from the city for people who wish to support it or put in community comment. So, we were all blind-sided that this was removed,” Blevins said.

It’s another example of a debate about preserving history that’s happening all across the country.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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