Study Finds More American Monuments to Confederates Than Abolitionists
Monuments to historical figures skew overwhelmingly White and male
Hundreds of public monuments have come down amid the racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd last year. Some were toppled by protesters armed with rope; others have been disassembled and carted away by professionals hired by local governments.
These removals may seem, well, monumental. But according to a study of U.S. public monuments, they’re a drop in the bucket, representing a mere 0.6 percent of the country’s nearly 50,000 monuments — monuments to historical figures who skew overwhelmingly White and male, including people who enslaved others, fought for the Confederacy, or never even set foot on American soil.
So, who has been commemorated most often in stone, metal or wood? Unsurprisingly, Abraham Lincoln tops the list of historical figures most frequently honored with a public monument (193), edging out George Washington (171), according to the “National Monument Audit” by the nonprofit Monument Lab.
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