Allendale Township, Michigan, voted Monday to repair and keep a veterans memorial statue that has become a target for leftists.
Last summer, Breitbart News visited the statue in the township’s Garden of Honor, a park that commemorates veterans from all of the wars and conflicts where Americans have served.
As Black Lives Matter and other leftist activists targeted statues across the country, the Allendale one was singled out because it depicted Union and Confederate soldiers with a slave child between them, holding a sign saying “Freedom to Slaves” and the date of the Emancipation Proclamation. Activists deemed it “racist.”
The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists, headed by Mitch Kahle, demanded it be removed.
“We have an American soldier for the union, we have a confederate soldier who was the enemy of America, they were traitors, and now we have this depiction of a slave child,” Kahle said.
“It’s highly inappropriate and the township of Allendale should remove the offending material and leave the memorial for true veterans, actual veterans of the United States,” he claimed.
After a contentious board meeting and a vote to keep the statue, protests erupted at the location. Supporters and opponents gathered there and video showed opponents dressed in black verbally attacking a journalist:
Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas told Breitbart News last summer, “A couple weeks ago part of the statue was spray painted and someone hit the statue with a hammer. The graffiti was cleaned off.”
“Last week the statue was wrapped in plastic and handwritten notes were attached to the plastic,” he said.
On Monday, township trustees voted 5-2 to repair and keep the statue on. Elenbaas was one of the dissenting votes, according to Fox 17.
With the vote, the board rejected a recommendation from an advisory panel to “remove and replace the statue with another statue of three Union soldiers from West Michigan.”
“Several trustees spoke against the recommendation, listing individual conversations with community members and not wanting to rewrite history as the reasons why,” the news station reported.
A motion to move the statue to a museum failed.
Kahle has attempted to organize a boycott of the township’s annual summer concert series. In a letter to performers, Kahle wrote:
Is the very low—some might say insulting—$50 to $100 pay worth the stigma of appearing to support a township that demonstrates overt racism toward minorities and a clear disrespect for musicians?
There is one more thing to consider as you weigh whether to accept or decline: protests are being planned that may coincide with some of the “Concerts in the Park.” Which particular dates are chosen for protests this summer will depend on which (if any) bands agree to perform for the apartheid government of Allendale Charter Township. We appeal to your conscience in this matter.
Kahle deemed Allendale Township the “Confederate capital of Michigan.”