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Birmingham Mayor Compares Confederate Monument To Statue Of Hitler

Photo: Mayor Bell Facebook

Since violence erupted following a demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday, calls for the destruction of Confederate monuments across the country have become louder. Some protestors are going so far as to tear them down themselves.

As we reported Tuesday, Birmingham Mayor William Bell joined that effort, ordering the Confederate monument at Linn Park to be covered until legal options for its removal could be considered, and yesterday Attorney General Steve Marshall sued Bell, asserting his move violates  Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

Bell doubled down yesterday, inferring that the statue was the equivalent of a Nazi symbol. Speaking to the media, he called Birmingham’s Memorial “divisive” and added the rhetorical question, “Would we have a statue of Hitler here in this community. . . I don’t think so, so that’s our position.”

Needless to say, even most who disagree with the justification of the Confederacy would never attempt to compare it to the Third Reich, who systematically exterminated six million Jews and killed as many as seven million Soviets in their 1940’s reign of terror.

Some of Alabama’s political insiders see Bell’s move as an attempt to bolster his reelection bid for Birmingham’s mayoral vote next week, on August 22nd. “Look, I’m sure Mayor Bell dislikes the monument, and I don’t think anyone questions his sincerely held belief,” said one analyst who wished to remain anonymous. “The reality is, though, that statue has been standing there since the day Mr. Bell took office, so to cover it up a week before the election certainly makes it look like a politically motivated tactic. And, hey, it’s a smart one. He knew it would generate tons of earned media and the support of his Democratic base in Birmingham. Viewing it through a political lens, you can’t blame the guy for taking advantage of the opportunity the Charlottesville mess presented…you just kinda hate to see this important debate get relegated to campaign tactics, but I don’t think anyone is surprised, most folks just see it for what it is,” he concluded.

To see Mayor Bell’s full statements skip to 4:00 on the video.

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