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“Confederate memorials associated with hatred” – New UVA study shows “significant” correlation between lynchings and the presence of Confederate monuments in communities in the South

By on October 12, 2021 0

“We make no causal assertions in the document,” Trawalter, one of the professors who worked on the study, said in a statement. “We cannot determine the exact cause and effect. But the association is clearly there. At a minimum, the data suggests that localities with attitudes and intentions that led to lynchings also had attitudes and intentions associated with the construction of Confederate memorials. “

The group chose to focus their research on the eleven former Confederate States of America, namely Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida , Arkansas and Alabama “because of the widespread history of racial violence.” ”In those states, although lynchings certainly took place in other states.

They obtained the county-level lynchings tally from three different sources (including the county-level register kept by the Equal Justice Initiative which documents lynchings between 1877 and 1950) to create such a comprehensive data set. as possible for these eleven states.

They also used the county-level counts of Confederate Memorials from the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Whose legacy? Public symbols of the Confederation ” project, taking into account the memorials that still exist as well as those – like Johnny Reb, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee in our own community – that have been removed.

The more than 1,500 Confederate memorials that the SPLC project has tracked take more shape than bronze soldiers and generals. These are street names (the most common, according to a table in the study), names of schools, flags, county and municipality names, government office lots and buildings. And since UVA research used this dataset, its findings apply to these types of memorials as well.

The team found the direct correlation they suspected.

“This kind of work is important because it takes a debate that looks like two sides, that looks like two equally valid opinions, and contributes by recognizing that there are empirical questions at the center of those debates. We can begin to answer these questions with an empirical, data-driven perspective. You don’t have to give in to the position that these symbols are not associated with hate at all. We can – and we have – test this empirically, ”said Henderson.

The document includes several short summaries of the history of these memorials and lynchings that Henderson hopes people will learn about.

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