Lee Statue Vandalized in Dallas, Demonstrators Defend it

Demonstrators stood watch over the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Dallas Saturday after it was vandalized overnight Friday.

Vandals spray-painted 'Nazis' on the statue The Dallas Morning News reported.

Several visitors Saturday said they were there to defend the statue.

Jennifer Goar from Fort Worth carried a Confederate battle flag.

"This is to show that we are here to battle whatever fight we have to fight," she said. "Taking these down it not going to erase the history. The history is still going to be there."

Carol Mize came all the way from Biloxi, Mississippi to protest against removing the Lee statue.

"The correct history is that it’s not necessarily about slavery and lynching and that’s what I hear everywhere I go. It was about state’s rights," she said.

Lee Park neighbor Jim Goodson disagreed.

"I’m opposed to it for what it stand for," Goodson said. "It’s time it came down. We’re way beyond this."

In a Facebook post, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed the vandalism and said city crews worked quickly to clean the message.

Rawlings said police will be monitoring the park moving forward. 

"We will not tolerate unlawful behavior, including the acts of vandalism or violence, regardless of one's beliefs," Rawlings said.

In 1993, the Dallas Parks Board voted against making any change to the Lee statue.

But Confederate Monuments have been a renewed target of controversy since violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.  A woman was killed when a vehicle slammed into demonstrators there.

This week, Mayor Rawlings called for the creation of a task force to consider what to do with Confederate Monuments in Dallas.  He asked City Council Members to name appointees to the task force by Monday. The Mayor set a November 8th deadline for final City Council action on the issue.

The Dallas Independent School District is also discussing what to do about school buildings in the city that are named after confederate figures.

This is not the first time the Lee statue in Dallas has been vandalized. In 2015, a person spray-painted "SHAME" on the base of the statue.

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