Amidst all the controversy over Confederate symbols nationwide comes evidence that most Americans want to keep them. A new NPR/PBS/Marist poll reveals 62 percent of respondents believe Confederate statues "should remain as a historical symbol." The survey shows 82 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents, and 44 percent of Democrats agreed with keeping the statues. Even African-Americans supported keeping the statues, 44 percent to 40 percent.
The statue controversy has arrived in Houston with a weekend rally pushing for the removal of the "Spirit of the Confederacy" monument which has stood in Sam Houston Park for 109 years. Organizers of the rally claim the monument is a reminder of slavery and abuse of black people, but supporters believe it has a deeper meaning. "Congress has decided that all Confederate veterans are United States veterans entitled to all of the privileges and respect due any American veteran, and so that monument in Houston is an American veterans monument," says Marshall Davis with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Davis is also upset that his organization is getting confused with those like the KKK and white nationalists. "Our mission is to protect the true history of the South, and we are very disappointed that other groups with different agendas are hiding behind our monuments," he says.
The poll found almost universal disapproval of the KKK, with more than 90 percent of all political affiliations against the group.