Seattle Mayor Calls for the Removal of Confederate Monument and Lenin Statue

Statue of Lenin/Getty

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called for the removal of a monument to confederate soldiers, and a statue of Vladimir Lenin in a statement Thursday.

The mayor said the monument and the statue represents "historic injustices," and both should be removed, according to the Seattle Times.

"Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities," Murray wrote. "We should remove all these symbols, no matter what political affiliation may have been assigned to them in the decades since they were erected. This includes both Confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian Soviet regime."

In the wake of the deadly weekend in Charlottesville, Va., there has been growing pressure for elected officials to remove confederate monuments and statues from public areas. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D, N.J.) have called for the removal of all confederate statues to be removed from the Capitol.

Murray said supporting the existence of the confederate monument and Lenin statue is equivalent to idolizing figures who committed violent atrocities.

"We should never forget our history, but we also should not idolize figures who have committed violent atrocities and sought to divide us based on who we are or where we came from," Murray said.

Both of the statues sit on private property so it is unclear what the mayor or city officials can do to remove the statues.

The Lenin statue is currently being sold for $150,000. The statue has often been the target of vandalism with vandals painting Lenin's hands red to symbolize blood.

The former Soviet leader initiated and led a regime that was responsible for the oppression and deaths of millions of people.

One state senator is opposed to removing Lenin's statue. State Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D, Seattle) called the statue a symbol of the victory of democracy, and freedom over oppression.

"Art can be offensive and painful, but it can also bring us alive with curiosity, wonder, knowledge. Installing a political statue of a man and regime that would never allow installation of political statues of opponents is a symbolic representation of the victory of democracy and freedom over oppression," Carlyle wrote Thursday.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at kugle@freebeacon.com.

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