A recently-filed lawsuit could result in the removal of a Confederate statue that has taken up space in the mostly-Black city of Tuskegee, Ala. for over 100 years.
According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Macon County Commission and three Black residents argues that the land where the statue currently stands was illegally given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy by county officials in 1906. Per the AP, records show that the land was privided to the Confederate group to use as a park for white people.
This impending legal battle comes during a time when various monuments erected in honor of Confederate figures have either been removed or have been the center of legal battles to have them removed–like the saga behind those rusty and dusty Robert E. Lee statues in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va.
The statue has been the subject of periodic demonstrations for decades in Tuskegee, which is almost all Black and the home of Tuskegee University. The nation’s first Black military pilots trained in the city during World War II.
Protesters tried and failed to pull down the monument in the 1960s, and it has been the target of vandals and community opposition for years. In July, City Council member Johnny Ford and another man used an electric saw to cut into the statue, but the damage was later repaired by a crew hired by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
WSFA-TV reports that both the Tuskegee chapter and Alabama division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy are defendants in the suit. Fred Gray, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said they have been working to find out who the members of the Tuskegee chapter of the group are.
So far, only one member has been located, according to the NBC affiliate.
It would probably be more satisfying to either see that thing torn down, dumped into the ocean or even shot into outer space, but WSFA reports that the county is willing to return the statue to the group if they step forward.