“Those statues are problematic for me,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference in answer to a question about Confederate monuments in the city of Dallas. His original statement on the issue, during a press conference today (Aug. 15) wasn’t as clear that he, personally, would like them gone.
Rawlings said he was heartbroken about the violence in Charlottesville and the death of Heather Heyer and two police officers.
“The fact that a Dallas native played a part made it harder,” he said, referring to “alt-right” founder Richard Spencer, one of the neo-nazis who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
While the mayor called the monuments “dangerous totems because they divide,” he didn’t call for their immediate removal.
“It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon to tear them down,” he said. “I hesitate. … How do you go about making this decision for the city so that at the end of the process we are more united?”
He said he turned to the city charter to figure out how to “de-accession” the monuments and is appointing a task force that will study the issue for 90 days then present its findings to the city council.
Rawlings said he was turning to his truth, racial healing and transformation team as well as the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance to help move the process forward.
Rawlings summed up his feelings as he answered several questions: “We could just remove them, but how are we going to heal?”
Councilman Philip Kingston said after the press conference that the council needs to make a strong statement of disapproval now “then the task force can get us where we need to be.”