Racist protesters disgrace Ida B. Wells grave site with Confederate flags
The Sons of Confederate Veterans reliving their racist past and dressed as Confederate soldiers, carrying muskets and Confederate flags, held a memorial for fallen soldiers at a Chicago cemetery, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
There were also about 50 protesters from Smash White Supremacy Chicago who laid flowers on the grave of journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, as Confederate flags waved in the background on graves.
The two opposing groups have never come face to face until now. The gravesite proves to be problematic for many who say that the memorial is just a cover for a racist Confederate past that’s being celebrated instead.
“It’s very clear this is not just a memorial service for people who have died, that it’s honoring a legacy that protected the slave trade,” said a leader of the group who wanted to be identified as Erica. “We are out here to build community support against the monument and make sure it gets taken down.”
Sons of Confederate Veterans “are still clinging to a racist history,” she said.
The Oak Woods Cemetery mass grave site is known as Confederate Mound. At least 4,000 Confederate soldiers are buried there, according to reports. There is a large Confederate marker that the group wants taken down.
One leader of the Sons of Confederate group said:
“This is all about honoring people,” he said.
“I don’t think this dishonors anybody … it’s a grave marker,” he said. “You will not find a mass grave on a plantation bigger than this one.”
VA spokesman Craig Larson was at the event and in a statement said:
The VA “has a long record of balancing history with respecting fallen service members and those who come to honor them.”