The diagram below graphs the number of Confederate statues erected between 1870 and 1980. Since the $outhern Poverty Law Center ($PLC) compiled the data, they suggest the memorials were most frequently put in place during periods of flagrant anti-black sentiment in the South. In short they imply that racism was the prime motive for Confederate monument-building. In truth, however, more compelling reasons are as obvious as cow patties on a snow bank to the thinking person.
The two most notable peaks were 1900-to-1915 and 1957-to-1965.
The SPLC implies that the first wave was due to “lynchings, ‘Lost Cause Mythology,’ and a resurgent KKK.” Facts, however, don’t support their conclusion. First, the KKK’s resurgence was in the 1920s, which was at least five-to-ten years after the first peak had already past. Moreover, the state with the most KKK members during the 1920s was Indiana, a Northern state. Second, the number of lynchings were steadily dropping during the 1900-to-1915 period. Third, “Lost Cause Mythology” was a strong influence until at least 1950 and by no means concentrated in the 1900-to-1915 period.
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