Confederate statues are considered as historical artifacts and should be left standing despite what they represent, and Americans who want them removed should instead rally for new monuments built for civil rights leaders, according to Harvest Praise and Worship Center pastor Mark Burns.
In a Periscope episode on Sept. 12, Pastor Burns defended the existence of confederate statues amid calls to have them removed after the Charlottesville protests. On Aug. 12, one person was killed and 19 others were injured when the protests over the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue took a deadly turn and an alleged Nazi sympathizer rammed a vehicle into a crowd of activists, The Christian Post detailed.
"I just truly believe that it's so important that we don't destroy history but we create new history. I think that's the key to our situation," Pastor Burns said in light of the Charlottesville incident. "You don't remove statues whether you agree with it or not. Whether they owned slaves or not, it's irrelevant."
To drive his point further, Pastor Burns brought up the possibility that the early families of his white wife owned slaves. However, he said he does not hold his spouse accountable for something that her great-great-great-grandfather did.
"No, I do not," Burns added. "We don't eliminate that history because from that history birthed six beautiful brown babies."
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the statue of Confederate General Lee was already removed on Sept. 14 after the city council voted for the move. Police were present when the monument, which was seen as a symbol of injustice, was taken down.
In an email, Dallas police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said there were no reports of violent incidents during the removal of the confederate statue. Next month, a city task force on confederate monuments is expected to issue a recommendation on what should be done with the statue.