Black council members: Bring down Dallas' Confederate statues
The four black members of the Dallas city council stood together Friday and said it’s time to bring down the Confederate statues that are on city property.
"We stand in solidarity to say that the statues must be and will be removed,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. “However, there is a process we have to go through.”
The council members said the monuments are symbols of hate in a city that has historically been racially divided.
"Dallas was once the seat of the Ku Klux Klan and that's not lost upon me in my research I have done, so it is not lost on me now,” said councilman Kevin Felder.
The council members say they will work with the mayor to create a task force to best decide on how to bring down the monuments, which were erected decades ago.
"I think there is never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Councilman Felder said.
Council members and Mayor Mike Rawlings said they would not act hastily. They said the right thing to do is go through the proper process and listen to the community.
"I think the president and any leaders must be uniters as opposed to playing to a political base,” Mayor Rawlings said on CNN.
Meanwhile, the city is preparing for protests leading up to their decision. A large one is planned for Saturday evening, and Dallas police are ready.
"I will tell you we have the largest contingent of officers [prepared for] any planned or unplanned event in the city of Dallas,” said Asst. Chief Paul Stokes.
Council members said that, after the statues come down, there must be a real dialogue about race and how to move beyond the symbols to real change.