Steven Reed, burgemeester van Montgomery, sê die vervanging van die Jeff Davislaan-teken, named after Jefferson Davis
, was the right thing to do
. The street was renamed Fred D
. Gray Avenue after the local civil rights icon in late October
“We have no comment on the matter concerning the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act,” a spokesman from the Alabama attorney’s general office wrote to CNN Monday. The letter was provided to CNN by the mayor’s office.
The fine seems counterintuitive
, as Confederate monuments and memorials are still coming down across the South
. Meer as 160 Confederate symbols came down in 2020 after the killing of George Floyd prompted a national reckoning with racism
, volgens die Southern Poverty Law Centre.
The catch is the fine is not tied to removing a Confederate memorial
. It stems from a
2017 wetgewing, which prohibits moving
, or renaming any memorial or monument
“located on public property which has been in place for
40 years or more
,” Volgens die Alabama Historical Commission
It made Mayor Reed wonder what leaders are trying to preserve, hy het gesê.
“If we were changing this name from Jefferson Davis Avenue to Stonewall Jackson Avenue, would that still be an issue?” Reed said. “What are we trying to preserve here? I think those are the questions that many of our leaders at the state level have to answer.”
Another question Reed has is whether the name of a street qualifies as a monument, hy het gesê.
“This came around the time when statues were being removed from New Orleans and other cities around the country,” hy het gesê. “I think we have to really look at this from a broader context.”
The street was renamed after Gray
, a prominent civil rights attorney who represented Rosa Parks after she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus
, according to his law firm’s webwerf
. He also represented Martin Luther King
, Jr., 'n paar keer.
Die unveiling ceremony of the new street took place a few yards from Gray’s childhood home October
26, according to the mayor’s office
The process to rename the street started in December 2020 took time, according to the mayor’s office. The Montgomery City Council unanimously voted to approve the mayor’s resolution October 5, 2021.
With the city facing the hefty fine, Reed said the city is looking into ways to resolve the issue.
“We have had donors from across the country offer to pay the fine, so we would not have to spend $ 1 of taxpayer money for that,” hy het gesê. “We want to also make sure that we don’t have the responsibility to challenge this law for a bigger issue as it relates to what cities and municipalities have the right to do and whether or not the law truly is unjust.”
Reed said the city has not decided if it will pay the fine.
“We will continue to look at this in the broad view of how we want Montgomery to move forward and what really makes the most sense for us as a community,” hy het gesê.