House Bill 4384 is titled the West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act of 2020.  It might as well be called the Confederate Memorial Protection Act.

The bill prohibits the the removal, relocation, alteration, or renaming (among other things) of monuments, memorials, street names, and schools (among other things) if they commemorate the military history of West Virginia (among other things - Legislators do like their long lists).

On its face, this bill does not impact civil liberties.  So why does the ACLU of WV oppose this legislation?

There has been one type of memorial and monument that have been the focus of removal recently - Confederate Memorials.  There's been a growing consensus that these memorials honor people who took up arms against the United States to maintain slavery and white supremacy.  The history behind the monuments and memorials belies the centrality of white supremacy to their importance.

Combating racism and white supremacy is central to the ACLU's mission.  Efforts that make it harder to tear down memorials to this legacy have to be seen as efforts to maintain this legacy, and we will fight back against them.


Waxman, Bibby, Hanna, Howell, Kelly, J., Summers, Foster, Bartlett, Steele, Mandt, Worrell





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