Quietly and not so quietly, some have been removed or face removal soon.
Reactions to increased criticism of these statues has been enormous; the latest debate played out on news outlets and social media the entire past week, with no resolution in sight. 65% of Latin Americans said they believe the statues should remain.
I have to disagree.
There are no monuments of Adolf Hitler in Germany, so why should equal tax-paying Americans be subjected to the celebration of Confederate statues in the communities in which they live?
The debate over monuments to Confederate commanders goes all the way back to the days after the Civil War ended in 1865. Many people weren't sure what to think, including almost a third of independents and one-in-five Democrats. George Wallace, the racist governor of Alabama, raised the Confederate battle flag over the capital of his state after calling for "segregation forever". Some see them as symbols of state's rights. Some fought to free the slaves, others fought to preserve the Union.
James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, says that the increase in statues and monuments was clearly meant to send a message.
Several American universities that received support from slave-owners and white supremacists have also been grappling with the question of what to do with that legacy.
Recently, M. Yvonne Taylor wrote a great piece about her feelings on the subject. These are not commemorations of the Confederacy in the aftermath of a devastating war, but instead a use of history to reconfirm white supremacy at times of racial tension. I have very strong opinions on the subject.
More than a half-dozen have been taken down since last week.
No matter your opinion on this issue, what can not continue is the denial of the evils that were built into this country and the evils of the men that signed off on them and fought to put them in place.
Had the British prevailed in our Revolutionary War, would there be statues of Washington or Jefferson? It is now time to remove those of men such as Robert E. Lee. Or so the argument goes.
On Thursday night, The Washington Post published a story about the monument. First, the monuments in question were built in the 20th century with the explicit objective of asserting racial supremacy of the white people. Those are important distinctions. "It doesn't unify us", she said. "We don't need that in Baltimore". However, equating Jefferson and Lee's legacies - as many, including our President, have done in the wake of Charlottesville - disregards key differences in the contributions that each man made to America and it history.
History is rarely a topic of consensus even in homogeneous societies. The fact that it is for many whites is telling. They don't want him to mention the left in any negative light, much less seek to prosecute any of them. "Teach your children the truth and let them decide what was right or wrong". This feels like one of those pivotal moments.