Huntsville man starts preemptive petition to keep Confederate monument outside Madison Co. Courthouse

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Madison County, Ala. (WHNT) - A Huntsville man has started a preemptive measure to prevent the removal of a Confederate monument from the front of the Madison County Courthouse --- just in case it is targeted as many other Civil War remembrance display have been in recent weeks.

Paul Lindgren has launched an online petition in hopes he can garner signatures to keep the Madison County Monument in place. The memorial, erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy, features the likeness of General John Hunt Morgan. In his petition description Lindgren writes, in part:

'The current hysteria of whitewashing and removing all physical traces of our state's past of this dramatic era in our national evolution constitutes an ill-informed movement of cultural and social cleansing, none of which furthers, in any known measure, our ongoing struggle for economic justice, racial understanding and social progress. On the contrary, it deepens the wounds of our past, and threatens to conjure new resentments for a future in which the personal political satisfactions of a few can trump, with little reason, the public satisfactions of the many.'

WHNT News 19 wanted to ask the general public if the Confederate display offended them in any way.

"No, not at all," one woman told us.

"No, no," said another passerby. "It's a piece of our history. It represents the Civil War."

"I think we should keep it," another man said.

When asked if they would be willing to sign a petition supporting the monument, 9 people we polled said they would. Of course, opinions vary based on who you ask.

"It reminds you of the Civil War and it reminds me as an African-American, personally, that when this war was fought Confederate soldiers were fighting to keep my ancestors enslaved," Stephen Patton told us. "And so it offensive to me but I understand the other side, how other people would say 'it's heritage.' But it's a heritage, in what it represents now, symbolically, is hate."

As of 5p.m. Tuesday, the petition only had 27 digital signatures toward the goal of 1,000.