According to a new poll by Winthrop University, Southerners are split on what to do with controversial monuments.
Poll Director Scott Huffmon told South Carolina Radio Network views on Confederate or Segregation-era monuments vary by race. “As far as unfavorable views, it’s only one in five of whites and nearly 60 percent of African Americans.”
The poll surveyed more than 960 residents in 11 Southern states over the past month. It has a 3.5 percent margin of error overall, with a larger error margin for individual racial groups.
As some Southern communities and universities ponder what to do with monuments that celebrate Civil War-era figures, the Winthrop Poll asked residents what should be done with statues that commemorate fallen Confederate soldiers.
42 percent of Southerners said to leave those memorials alone, while 28 percent said to add a plaque for context and historical interpretation. Nearly one-fourth want to move the statutes to a museum.
All told, 56 percent of those surveyed want to do something other than simply leave the monuments and statues as they are, but no clear opinion exists on how that should be done. “A strong plurality advocate leaving them as they are,” the report noted.
But less uncertainty existed towards statues that honor leaders and politicians who supported racial segregation. “Southerners were less supportive of those,” Huffmon said. “Only 30 percent said leave them as they are.”
One-fourth supported adding a marker, another fourth backed putting the monuments in a museum, while 13 percent said to remove them entirely. Among black respondents, 37 percent supported the museum option, while a fourth said to completely remove them.