LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — During a press conference yesterday, Gov. Andy Beshear said he is looking at the steps in moving forward with the removal of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Two years ago, a plaque that called President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis a hero was taken down. However, the statue has remained.
Take Back Cheapside is a group that is responsible for launching the movement that relocated confederate statues from the heart of downtown Lexington. Take Back Cheapside co-founder DeBraun Thomas said it's about time for the Davis statue to be removed too.
"It's about listening to those who are in pain," Thomas said. "It's about listening to other people's stories and hearing other people's truth. That's the way you connect with people. People of color, black people, have been saying for years that that statue needs to go. It's just been a matter of time."
Meanwhile, Commander Sam Hatchet with the Kentucky Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, disagrees. Hatchet released a statement to LEX18 on behalf of the division:
"I feel strongly that the monument represents history. Mr. Davis was born in Kentucky, served in the war. I feel like the governor's actions will probably inflame the feelings more than help. Also in the rotunda is a statue of President Lincoln. It's supposed to represent the healing in Kentucky from a war between the states. The state motto is 'United we stand, and divided we fall'. The statues together represent we should be united again."
Gov. Beshear said during a press conference on Thursday he believes the statue does the opposite.
"I just want to make the statement that I believe the Jefferson Davis statue is a symbol that divides us," Beshear said.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron released a statement to LEX18 on Friday agreeing the statue should be moved.
“Jefferson Davis is our past, but he didn’t define our future, Abraham Lincoln did. I think the Davis statue should be relocated, but it is up to the Historical Properties Advisory Commission. If the commission decides to replace it, I can think of many other historical figures more deserving of a permanent home in our Capitol.”