Invisible Hate is a powerful tool that enables millions of Americans to see where Confederate monuments stand, learn the truth behind them, and take action to help tear them down once and for all. It is designed to expose historical truths and context behind Confederate monuments and symbols, promote expression and social sharing about the offensiveness of these symbols, and facilitate activism by demanding the monuments’ removal by legislators.
There are close to 700 Confederate monuments and 1700 Confederate symbols still standing in the United States, and most Americans have been taught a false narrative around the Confederacy and its implications today. For example, many people don’t know that:
Confederate monuments were built to celebrate treason against the United States.
Confederate monuments celebrate and honor those who defended the enslavement of black people.
Many Confederate monuments were funded by organizations with clear ties to hate groups like the KKK.
The majority of Confederate monuments were built, not on the heels of the Civil War, but primarily during the Jim Crow era to intimidate black people.
Many Confederate monuments are maintained and supported with taxpayer money, some with federal tax dollars. That means each and every American is paying for them.
Misinformation and complacency around this issue is one way we allow systematic racism to persist. Invisible Hate makes it easy to learn about these monuments and take action to get them removed.
There are symbols of various forms still standing in 31 states, including New York and California.
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Interactive Map Upon landing on the Site, users will be presented with an Interactive Map that shows the location of Confederate monuments across the country. Current monuments are represented by a circle icon. Removed monuments are represented by an X. The user will be prompted for their location data and in response; be presented with the confederate monument closest to their location. The user will then be presented with verified historical quotes and context about the monument.
Contact Your Representative Each of the monuments shown within the Interactive Map will be associated with a representative based on the monument’s geographical location. The site will enable each user to auto-generate and tailor an email template to the appropriate representative and make their opinions known. Users can then share their action on social media to encourage friends to do the same.
User-created Custom Image Each user can create a customized image related to the monument of their choosing to share how they feel about it to their social channels. There will be two options for doing so. 1) If the user is in front of the monument, they will be able to take a picture of the monument and apply custom stickers over the image, which they can then share to social media. 2) If the user is not at the monument, they can select from a library of images and then place stickers over the image, which they can also share via social media.
Most Confederate symbols are privately funded by individuals or organizations. However, many Confederate Monuments are funded by tax dollars, even federal tax dollars. Essentially every tax-paying American is paying for their upkeep! Over the past decade, American taxpayers have paid $40 million to Confederate monuments—statues, homes, parks, museums, libraries and cemeteries—and to Confederate heritage organizations. (Source))
While many of the symbols are privately maintained and funded, each American city and state associated with symbols still standing has departments that are in charge of maintaining public symbols with an allocated budget for upkeep.
Most are not as old as you might think. The majority of monuments were funded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy whose main mission was to glorify the “Lost Cause” narrative, positioning those monuments in critical places such as town squares or in front of municipal offices to intimidate Black Americans during Jim Crow. Most of these symbols have been erected more recently by local and federal governments over the last 60-100 years.
According to the Washington Post, as of December 2019, the main reasons why these monuments are still standing are as follows:
As of March 2020, there were roughly 1,800 Confederate symbols still erect. Local governments and citizens themselves have taken down a few of the more obvious Confederate statues in city halls, public parks and publicly accessible government property, leading into the summer of 2020.
A Confederate symbol is anything public or private that memorializes or glorifies the Confederacy and its leaders. While we chose to focus our launch efforts on physical monuments, Confederate symbols range in presentation from grand statues to innocuous objects like street signs to water fountains, park benches to buildings.
As an NAACP ATLANTA Chapter project, we also have the endorsement of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s ancestor, Reverend Robert W. Lee IV, an outspoken advocate to the removal of racist monuments.
Americans have been taught a false narrative around the Confederacy and its implications today. Misinformation and complacency around this issue are two obvious ways we allow systematic racism to persist.
The goal of the initiative is to build awareness, stimulate conversation, encourage education and enable action against the invisible hate that Confederate monuments represent, and empower more people to see the full context of American history. Further it advocates for the removal of all Confederate monuments and symbols.
Invisible Hate is an education and advocacy platform that enables millions of Americans to see where Confederate monuments stand, what they really stood for, and take action to get these symbols of hate removed once and for all. It is designed to expose historical truths and context behind Confederate monuments and symbols, promote expression and social sharing about the offensiveness of these symbols, and facilitate activism by demanding the statues removal by legislators and local activism.