April 25, 2007
By Joel Anderson
Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover emphatically rebuffed the pleas of two community activists who came to Government Plaza on Tuesday seeking the withdrawal of a proclamation that recognizes April as Confederate Heritage Month.
Near the end of a City Council meeting that lasted nearly three hours, Glover directly responded to earlier comments from Larry English and Willie Bradford, who railed against the proclamation for almost 20 minutes.
“Kind of like the Confederacy, you lose again,” Glover said. “You lose today, you lose tomorrow and you’ll lose the next time you come here with any similar thoughts along that line.”
Glover and Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker both signed the proclamation earlier this month, which was offered by the Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp, of Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The proclamation encourages “all citizens to study the history of the conflict and events in the years from 1861 to 1865 and to contemplate the actions of the citizens of Shreveport during that era.”
A renowned history buff, Glover — the city’s first black mayor — has said he had no problem signing the document because “any effort to understand the root causes of that conflict and the strife, difficulty and pain and suffering it brought to this country is worth observing and evaluating.”
English, however, called the Confederacy a vehicle for the institution of slavery and peppered his appeal to the mayor and the council with stories about the mistreatment of slaves.
“Mr. Mayor, what you did was wrong,” English said to Glover. “I’m here speaking for voices that are no longer here. Sir, when we elected you, we were hoping to change the status quo.”
“What you permit, you promote,” Bradford said.
Councilman Joe Shyne sided with English and Bradford, saying he would never have approved a similar resolution.
“I don’t want you to leave here thinking I would condone any kind of recognition of the Confederacy by this city,” Shyne said. “When I look back at all the atrocities that were committed against (slaves), I can’t go along with that.”
But Glover reiterated that signing the proclamation was not an endorsement of the Confederacy but was mostly an attempt to explore its history in Shreveport.
“Anyone who comes to Shreveport mayor’s office, seeking to do something that’s positive and to help us do something that gives us pause to reflect on where it is that we are today … I’m going to support them.”
English and Bradford have clashed with the new mayor at a council meeting before. Both men spoke in opposition to Glover’s appointment of Tom Dark as Shreveport’s chief administrative officer in January.
© The Times