Study Shows Correlation Between Number of Confederate Monuments and Lynchings


The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”

 Opponents of the removal of Confederate monuments in the United States have long defended them as emblems of “Southern pride,” rather than symbols of racism and hate. However, a recent study by researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville found a damning correlation between the number of documented lynchings of Black people in a county with the number of local Confederate monuments.

The research group was led by Kyshia Henderson of UVA’s Social Psychology Program, who worked with data scientist Samuel Powers and professors Sophie Trawalter, Michele Claibourn, and Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi at the university’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Analyzing county-level data from 1832 to 1950, they concluded that that the number of lynchings in a given county was found to be a “significant predictor” of the number of Confederate memorials in each locality.

“This finding provides concrete, quantitative, historically and geographically situated evidence consistent with the position that Confederate memorializations reflect a racist history, marred by intentions to terrorize and intimidate Black Americans,” the researchers wrote in their study. 

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