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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Wants Task Force To Decide Fate Of City's Confederate Monuments

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wants to form a task force to discuss whether the city should remove its Confederate monuments.

Rawlings told reporters Tuesday that he has also asked the Dallas Holocaust Museum and other groups about what to do with statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and other confederate leaders located in various parts of Dallas.

“Look, this is simple,” Rawlings said. “We can just remove them. The question is, how are we going to  start to heal on this issue? To do that we need to listen and talk to one another. And there’s a process to do that. So I am a big fan of moving quickly. But when we have a chance to learn from one another, I’ll take that moment.”

A deadly rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend has accelerated the removal of Confederate statues in cities across the country.

Reverend Gerald Britt, with the local nonprofit City Square, says time for talk in Dallas has passed.

“This isn’t new,” Britt said. “Twenty, 25 years now this has periodically come up. And this is something that needs to happen now," he says. "Frankly, we need to have the guts to pull the trigger on action that needs to take place right now.”

Five Dallas City Council members signed a memo last week asking an item be placed on an upcoming agenda that calls for the city to remove Confederate monuments from city property.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.