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MSU History Dept. Demands Calloway County Officials Remove Confederate Statue In Letter To Judge

Calloway County Robert E. Lee statue
Rachel Collins

Murray State University’s Department of History is demanding the removal of a statue of Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee from Murray’s downtown.

In a letter to Calloway County Judge-Executive Kenny Imes, the history department faculty said they felt obligated as historians to comment on the controversial statue. The letter states the historians do not see the statue as a monument to Southern heritage, but rather a symbol of white power and black oppression. 

“Funded by organizations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy, represent the Lost Cause ideology, which, during the Jim Crow era, sought to rewrite history by denying the central role slavery played in causing the Civil War.” 

The faculty stated in the letter that individuals making the argument the removal of monuments can erase history, are missing the principal point.

“Removing a monument simply states that society no longer sees what this person did as good and positive,” the letter reads in part.

The faculty argues removal of the Robert E. Lee statue would help Murray move forward as an inclusive and friendly community. 

Members of the Calloway County Fiscal Court were copied on the letter, including magistrates Don Cherry, Larry Crutcher, Eddie Clyde Hale, Paul Rister and Deputy Judge/Executive Gina Winchester. 

Murray State University’s Department of English and Philosophy and Murray State assistant football coach Sherman Neal II also wrote Imes letters asking for the removal of the statue. 

Murray State Professor Timothy Johns requested a public forum on the removal of the statue to be included in the county’s upcoming fiscal court meeting on June 17.


Letter from MSU history department to Judge Imes demanding removal of Robert E. Lee statue from The City of Murray's downtown

Update: This report was updated to correct a spelling error and to properly identify the members of the Calloway County Fiscal Court copied in the letter. 


Hannah is a Murray State Journalism major. She found her place in radio during her second year in Murray. She is from Herndon, KY, a small farming community on the Kentucky/Tennessee stateline.