Confederate symbols have become a crucible of racial tension in the US. White nationalists claim they are important monuments – but are they just a way to rewrite an ugly history and revive the battles of the past?
In St Paul’s memorial church in Charlottesville last Friday, just up the street from where white supremacists were gathering for a torchlight rally, Cornel West explained why African-Americans saw the removal of Confederate monuments as so important.
On hearing that hundreds of white supremacists were gathered in a nearby park, the civil rights leader said, with a hint of weariness: “These are chickens coming home to roost. We should have eliminated these statues a long time ago.”