A century-old statue commemorating women in the Confederacy was defaced in a Florida park amid ongoing racial inequality protests.
The Florida Times-Union reports Saturday that the “Women of the Southland” statue in Jacksonville was splattered with red paint and tagged with the letters BLM, an abbreviation for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The statue is among others in the city’s Confederate Park, a place activists have been pushing for removal of the monuments. The park and the women’s statute have been there since 1915.
It’s not clear who defaced the statue. Protesters in southern cities have targeted Confederate monuments as symbols of racial intolerance, especially since the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer held him down with his knee to Floyd’s neck.
The statue on the “Women of the Southland” inscription reads, “Let this mute but eloquent structure speak to generations to come of a generation of the past. Let it repeat perpetually the imperishable story of our women of the ’60s, those noble women who sacrificed their all upon their country’s altar.”
The woman depicted in the statue is considered the embodiment of the “Lost Cause” movement, which aims to portray the Confederacy as heroic and minimize the central role of slavery in the Civil War.
Many Confederate monuments have been taken down. This week, the governor of Virginia said a monument in Richmond to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed.