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Statue panel should eye venue, context

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Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

Congratulations to the Denton County Commissioners Court for taking the next step toward resolving the controversy surrounding the Confederate memorial on the Square.

County Judge Mary Horn's appointments to a monument committee are heartening. Denton businessman and NAACP leader Willie Hudspeth and former Denton City Council member Mike Cochran, a local history buff, were good choices.

Now, each of the four county commissioners needs to appoint two people to the committee. We hope they make those appointments soon so the panel can get to work and come up with a plan for how to update the visual presentation on the Square. The Daughters of the Confederacy erected the monument in 1918, and it needs updating.

We urge committee members to avoid tortured dialogue about who or what caused the Civil War. Was it slavery? Was it states' rights? The debate is unproductive.

What we need is a committee focused on venue and context. Venue refers to the statue's location. Should it remain where it is or should it be moved to a museum setting? Context means things like whether a monument commemorating the black experience should be added to the presentation on the Square.

We are confident that people of good will can come up with a solution that meets the needs of our diverse, 21st century population.