Just as a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was scheduled to come down in a Dallas park on the order of the City Council, a federal district court judge issued a restraining order to temporarily stop the process.

The 15-member Dallas City Council voted by a 13 to 1 margin, with one member abstaining, to remove the statue with work commencing within an hour.

“The time is now. I look forward to it coming down,” said Councilman Scott Griggs.

“There is no question in my mind that this city will be better tomorrow with this statue down,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings.

But an attorney representing Hiram Patterson, a member of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, successfully filed a motion to pause what he called the “Orwellian agenda” of the City of Dallas in rushing to tear down a piece of history

“We just don’t want to be looking over our shoulder to make sure that the city cranes aren’t coming to get Lee while this is hashed out,” attorney Kirk Lyons, of the Southern Legal Resource Center, said. “We want the judicial process to work.”

Because the decision to remove the statue was decided in a so-called “briefing session,” rather than one with a preset agenda, Lyons says there was no opportunity for discussion from interested citizens.

Patterson, the named plaintiff in the motion for a temporary injunction, agrees with the filing but did not attend Wednesday’s council meeting in Dallas.

“We want to keep the historical memory so that people can know what happened and learn from it,” he said.

Barricades were erected around the Robert E. Lee statue by city crews before the City Council vote took place, with local police stationed at the entrance to Oak Lawn Park.

The move to take down the Lee statue comes as monuments and sculpture have been reconsidered in the Old South states as symbols of the Confederacy that relied on the enforced labor of enslaved Africans and African-Americans.

Those who object to the removal of statues of Confederate generals like Lee, as well as Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and monuments to the enlisted men of the Confederacy, as well as to the presidency of the short-lived rebel nation, Jefferson Davis, claim that their destruction is an attempt to “whitewash” history while advocates say their presence keeps an evil chapter of the nation’s past alive.

Do you agree that statues of Confederate leaders and enlisted men should be removed to avoid keeping the wounds of the Civil War alive?

Source: Fox Orlando

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