As Washington grapples with police reform in the wake of the national conversation over race followed by the death of George Floyd last month, it is clear that weeks of protests across the US have changed on how the public sees a hot issue on whether statues honoring Confederate leaders should be taken down.
In a new Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 52% of Americans said they support “Removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country.” Around 4 in 10 oppose such a move.
Looking inside the new Quinnipiac numbers, it’s clear that where you live, how old you are and the color of your skin is powerful deciding factors on how you land on the Confederate statue question.
A large majority of black people (84%) and those aged 18-34 (67%) agree on the removal of confederate statues.Most women (56%) and Hispanic people (58%) also support the removal. Less than half of white people (44%) and those living in the south (45%) back the statues’ removal.
(There is majority support for removing the statues in the other three main regions of the country.)
The new poll numbers land smack dab in the middle of an ongoing debate about whether these statues need to be taken down.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, a number of Confederate statues have been removed, most of the time, forcibly. Just this month, a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was ripped down by protesters in Richmond.
“Jefferson Davis was a racist & traitor who fled our city as his troops carried out orders to burn it to the ground,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney posted on Twitter, who is black.
“He never deserved to be up on that pedestal.July 1, we will begin the process the state requires to remove these monuments to the Old Richmond of a Lost Cause. ”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has made his views on the matter clearly. In the wake of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Trump tweeted:
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson?”
On Thursday, Trump doubled down on his stance on The Wall Street Journal report, arguing that removing Confederate names of bases would “bring people apart.”