More statues could come down or names of roads, parks in St. Louis may be changing

By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - More name changes and monument removals might be forthcoming in our area, after a statue of Christopher Columbus was removed from Tower Grove Park

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page says he has ordered staff to review all roads, parks and statues for potentially problematic names.

"The symbols that define our community should not be symbols that divide our community," Page says. 

Page says he wants his directors of diversity, roads and parks to make sure no names or monuments are in conflict with "St. Louis County's values."

Symbols of oppression are not welcome in St. Louis County. So today I asked @No1councilwoman, @StlCountyParks and @Transportstlco to study and identify what names of roads, parks, and statues are inconsistent with our values.

— County Executive Sam Page (@DrSamPage) June 17, 2020

Page says, over time, chapters of history have either been forgotten or rewritten and he says names from that complicated past are still on display.

He says they're not going to go after each troublesome name one at a time. He says he's aware of Dorsett Road, named after a Maryland Heights slave owner who may have been a part of a group that terrorized African-Americans. 

He also announced on Tuesday that all St. Louis County employees have a holiday and will be off work on Friday in recognition of Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the U.S.

St. Louis County should be a place we embrace & celebrate our diversity, learn lessons from our complicated history & commit ourselves to action. June 19 marks the anniversary of the end of slavery in U.S. This year, in @SaintLouCo, we will observe #Juneteenth as a holiday.

— County Executive Sam Page (@DrSamPage) June 16, 2020

On Tuesday morning the Columbus statue that sat in Tower Grove Park for 140 years was taken down. A crowd started to gather and yelling broke out over the statue's removal.

In a statement, the park says the statue "symbolizes a historical disregard for indigenous peoples and cultures and destruction of their communities. Tower Grove Park celebrates the diversity of our community every day and serves as the centerpiece of the region’s most vibrant neighborhoods."

KMOX's Michael Calhoun contributed to this report.
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