LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Crews hadn't planned to remove it during Derby Week; merely to gauge the time, the costs and manner of doing so. But now an order from Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald Burkman keeps a monument to Kentucky's Confederate Civil War veterans right where it has stood for 121 years - at the fork of 2nd & 3rd Streets on the University of Louisville Belknap Campus.
"The people have a right to say so something about this, what is so terrible about that," asked Everett Corley, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a Republican candidate for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House. Three people can't make this decision.
Corley was referring to Dr. James Ramsey, the UofL president, Mayor Greg Fischer, and incumbent Congressman John Yarmuth, who announced last week that the 70 foot tall memorial of stone and bronze would be removed from campus.
+ Confederate monument is coming down
"I don't see where harm is being done to the Sons of the Confederacy, and people of their ilk," said Dr. Ricky Jones, chair of Pan-African Studies. "The real harm is being done to the faculty and staff and students at the University of Louisville."
Is it a symbol of slavery, oppression and secession or a tribute to Kentuckians who fought for state's rights? Though the Commonwealth did not secede from the Union, it was a slave state. Kentucky's stand in sympathy is marked by a star on the Confederate battle flag. But if history is rebel grey, Thomas McAdam, Corley's attorney, argues that the laws are black and white.
"The monument is on the National Registry," said McAdam. "You can't just tear down national monuments without going through a lengthy process. "It is a state monument. We have a state monument law that says you have to go through a process. This is Old Louisville, so it's in the Historic Preservation Zone. And that's state right-of-way. So we're in contact with the Governor's office."