Outside the county courthouse in Murray, Kentucky, there is a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
Ja Morant started at Murray State before going on to a likely Rookie of the Year season with the Memphis Grizzlies. This week, Morant wrote a letter Calloway County, Kentucky, Judge Kenneth C. Imes asking that “white supremacy” statue be removed.
“Murray felt like a second home from the minute I stepped on campus and became a part of the Murray State community. As a young Black man, I cannot stress enough how disturbing and oppressive it is to know the city still honors a Confederate war general defending white supremacy and hatred.”
The statue was erected in 1917 to honor the county’s Civil War dead. Like the majority of Confederate monuments in the United States, this one went up during the repressive Jim Crow era in the South (more than 50 years after the war ended), and these statues were meant to send a message to Black people about white power and the “social order.”
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the energy behind the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been new energy to tearing down these monuments throughout the nation.
Good for Morant for taking a stand in a community that matters to him.