The Jefferson Davis Monument in Apache Junction was defaced overnight
The Jefferson Davis Monument in Apache Junction was defaced overnight
Special to Phoenix New Times

Two of of Arizona's Confederate Monuments Have Been Defaced

Two of Arizona's six Confederate monuments have been defaced just days after President Donald Trump lamented the removal of Robert E. Lee statues at a Tuesday press conference at Trump Tower.

A stone monument of the president of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis, was apparently tarred and feathered on Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway near Apache Junction.

A second memorial of the Arizona Confederate troops on the state Capitol grounds was not-so-subtly spray-painted white overnight in Phoenix. The paint has since been removed by the Arizona Department of Administration, spokeswoman Megan Rose confirmed.

The latest vandalism comes less than 24 hours after the same statue was  light heartedly donned with a second-place participation banner.

Activist groups in Arizona have been hounding Governor Doug Ducey and other officials for months to take down the quasi-historical Confederate symbols in the state.

State Representative Reginald Bolding, a Democrat who's been rallying for the removal of Arizona's Confederate memorials since 2015, said the defacing of the monument was counterproductive.

"I don’t believe that it actually furthers the call for civil discourse the debate around these monuments of hate and the removal of them throughout the state," Bolding said. "It seems to be short-term action that I don’t believe helps our long-term goal of removing the monuments."

Bolding said he's been pushing for a meeting to discuss the removal of monuments, saying civil discourse was the only way to make true change.

The vandalized statue appeared days after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey dodged civil rights leader's calls to take down the six Confederate symbols in the state as he condemned the hate and violence from white supremacy groups in Charlottesville.

Early this morning, President Donald Trump, a true history buff, said the removal of "beautiful statues and monuments" is "so foolish!"

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," the president tweeted. "You ...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also... the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"

But Bolding says the argument about monuments comes down to whether we choose to celebrate or condemn the violence and racial hatred the Confederacy represents.

"When we name streets or schools or highways or buildings after these individuals, we do it in a celebratory way to show we want to honor them," Bolding said. "It’s not about history. It's about whether we want to celebrate and highlight symbols of hate."

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