Monuments honoring historic figures are being removed by local officials or have been toppled or defaced by protesters across the nation this year. Many honored Confederate generals and officials, but monuments to Christopher Columbus, Spanish missionaries and Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who both held slaves, also have come under attack. The call to remove Confederate monuments and symbols from public spaces is not new, but it reached a new level of intensity this summer as part of a mass protest movement demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality toward minorities. Opponents of the monuments say they honor men whose actions violated fundamental American beliefs in equality and justice. Confederate statues are especially offensive, opponents say, because they exalt traitors who rebelled ...

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