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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper agrees Confederate statues in other states should be taken down

Posted at 8:41 PM, Aug 17, 2017

DENVER -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says public monuments that celebrate atrocities in other states need to go and we must do better.

In a conversation with Denver7, Hickenlooper imagined a situation where this could negatively affect someone of color.

"African-American kid walking through New Orleans or Charlottesville and you see this big monument of someone who the intention of putting that monument there to tell you, you didn't have same the future as everyone else, and you didn't have the same opportunities. My God, you should take that down," said Hickenlooper. "Put it in a museum so we can remember just where we came from and how bad it was."

As far as the six confederate memorials in Colorado, Hickenlooper said it's worth revisiting the ones on public land.

One of the monuments is outside the Pitkin County Courthouse near Aspen and was dedicated to soldiers who fought on both sides during the war. A wooden sign in Beulah explains the city's connection to the civil war is also on public land. There are also confederate memorials at private cemeteries in Evergreen, Canon City and Pueblo. 

Denver's only confederate memorial can be found at Riverside Cemetery off Brighton Blvd.  

"If someone wants to put a plaque for Confederate soldiers in their private cemetery, that's too long a bridge for me to say they shouldn't have that right," said Hickenlooper.

Then there's the Civil War statue right outside the governor's office at the State Capitol. It honors all Colorado soldiers.

While some people believe the statue is of Colonel John Chivington, who lead the raid during the Sand Creek Massacre, it is actually that of a regular union solider and depicts no one in particular.

"I think those memorials are to celebrate the people that lost their lives," said Hickenlooper.

The governor said it's his job to protect freedom of speech on both sides, but not violence.

"Use of the term Nazis is kind of a harmless use of the word, it repulses me but that being said, government should not tell people that they can't use the word Nazi," said Hickenlooper.