CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville's Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos is speaking out against some of her critics after she questioned the relevance of the city's Confederate monuments.

This controversy stems from comments she made at a Virginia Festival of the Book luncheon about the Civil War two Thursdays ago. Szakos floated the idea of tearing down the statues, moving them, or balancing them out with new civil rights statues.

Since then, she says she and her children have received threatening emails and phone calls and read hundreds of bigoted comments on a number of news websites.

Her comments came during Monday night's regular city council meeting.

"I believe it represents a far smaller group of people than it once did, but it was not so long ago that my father was beaten senseless by a group of white men in Jackson, saying those exact same things, or that my mother was spit on by society ladies for being involved in the civil rights movement," Szakos said.

Charlottesville is home to three Confederate statues, including two equestrian monuments honoring generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.