But at a press conference on Tuesday, in the midst of a national debate over the propriety of Confederate images, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell identified one place where Davis shouldn’t be: the Capitol building in his home state of Kentucky. A statue of Davis stands alongside former President Abraham Lincoln—his Civil War adversary—and other Kentucky-born leaders.
After last week’s deadly shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, images emerged of the suspected gunman’s affinity for the Confederate flag, spurring debate over whether the Confederate symbol should be represented on state property. According to reporters at the news conference, McConnell said that a “more appropriate” location for the Davis statue would be a state museum. This week, McConnell expressed support for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia.
This isn’t the first time that Davis’s place of honor in the Kentucky Capitol has been questioned. Earlier Tuesday, a Kentucky gubernatorial candidate called for its removal, and last year, a former state treasurer started an online petition to replace Davis’s statue with a memorial to boxer Muhammed Ali, who was born in Louisville.
That Ali was originally the namesake of Cassius Marcellus Clay makes him an even more appropriate replacement for Davis. Ali apparently doesn’t want a statue, but there’s probably room for both a two-dimensional representation of the Greatest, an a statue of the abolitionist leader Clay…