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Allendale Township board set to discuss controversial statue

A group is calling for removal of statue that depicts Confederate soldier, slave
Posted at 10:44 PM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 23:10:50-04

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A civil war statue depicting a Confederate soldier among other things, is at the center of debate in Allendale Township.

The township’s board of trustees will be discussing it Monday night, after calls for its removal.

In Allendale Community Park just off Lake Michigan Drive is the Veterans Garden of Honor, nine life size statues in tribute to those who served.

It’s also the site of the Civil War statue that’s now under scrutiny.

The statue depicts a Union soldier holding a U.S. flag, standing back to back with a Confederate soldier holding a Confederate flag

At their feet is a Black child holding a sign that says “freedom to slaves.”

“Michigan should not have a statue honoring a Confederate soldier. Michigan soldiers were Union soldiers, not Confederate soldiers and so that's why we'd like to see the statue taken down,” Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists’ Mitch Kahle said.

Kahle spoke with FOX 17 on the phone Sunday.

“The way they depicted this African infant, this young child as a slave, essentially naked on the ground, [inaudible] essentially at the boots of Confederate soldiers, [inaudible] not a statue that they could come up with that could be more insulting to African-Americans,” Kahle added.

Kahle and his group are urging the township board of trustees to take the statue down.

“This statue should come down, especially in Michigan, it is highly offensive, and to be honest with you I think the trustees will do the right thing and take it down,” Kahle said.

FOX 17 tracked down a former member of the local historical society, one of the people who helped donate put the statue up in 1998.

They said they believe the statue is a good way to remember history and they will be saddened if it got taken down.

FOX 17 will have a crew at the township meeting Monday night, where this discussion will continue.