Dixie Heritage News – Friday, July 21, 2017

 

FLORIDA UDC PREZ SUPPORTS MONUMENT REMOVAL

 

The Confederate generals who loom in granite-and-marble glory over two historic Dallas parks may be standing on borrowed time.

 

Last week, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings sent a letter to the Communities Foundation of Texas, beseeching the North Texas nonprofit to let one of its new partners, Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, put the Confederate monuments topic on its plate.

 

Rawlings won’t come right out and say this, but he willingly, if somewhat reluctantly, tips his hand.

 

“Personally,” Rawlings said, “I’m careful about espousing my point of view too much but not ashamed to do it. Slavery was the greatest sin that America ever participated in and we need to appropriately own up to that and move beyond it. When we have historical reminders such as the towering statues of Confederate stars planted in public parks, it’s concerning,” he said.

 

With Rawlings’ blessing, or insistence, Dallas is now digging into how it should handle tConfederate symbols and calculating what it would take to remove, relocate or alter the memorials to add historical context.

 

Two of the four highly visible monuments have drawn the most public attention: Robert E. Lee Park and the statue in Oak Lawn, and the Confederate War Memorial in the heart of downtown Dallas.

 

The other two monuments adorn Fair Park. The Fair Park monuments have stirred up less controversy because they are part of a larger historical narrative, rather than stand-alone displays. Still, anything with a Confederate mark on it is fair game these days. Even Robert E. Lee Elementary, which Rawlings’ wife attended.

 

Rawlings said he “won’t predict” what will happen to any of the monuments or schools in Dallas. But I wouldn’t buy stock in any Confederate icons in Dallas. Rawlings isn’t going after these monuments like Landrieu did. But don’t let his soft shoes and velvet glove fool you. The Mayor is all-out to eradicate Southern Heritage in Dallas.

 

NAACP STARTS NEW FLORIDA FIGHT

 

This time in Bradenton. They are targeting the monument in front of the Manatee County Courthouse. The statue reads “In memory of our confederate soldiers” and pays tribute to General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson.

 

Donated in 1924 by the Daughters of the Confederacy the statue has sat right next to the county courthouse for nearly a century.

 

WWSB TV placed a camera crew in front of the monument for about an hour this week and gave up the effort when only one passer-by would say anything negative about, or support the removal of, the monument. That said, lack of public support has never stopped the removal of a monument.

 

TAMPA RE-VOTE WILL REMOVE MONUMENT

 

Hillsborough County officials have a location to move the Confederate monument. County Commissioner Victor Crist told the Tampa Bay Times that a private cemetery has tentatively agreed to take the 106-year-old marble monument, called Memoria en Aeterna, which is located outside the old county courthouse in Tampa.

 

Commissioners voted 4-3 last month to keep the monument at its current location. Another vote was held this week Wednesday to “reconsider the matter. After three and a half hours of impassioned pleas from a coalition of veterans groups and numerous citizens supporting the statue, more than 100 residents signed up to speak, Hills¬≠borough County Commissioners voted 4-2 to remove the statue from its home outside the old county courthouse.

 

The coalition of veterans groups had already went to the County building earlier in the week to inform the Commissioners that they have the majority of the public on their side, citing a new robopoll conducted on their behalf by Orlando based pollster Gravis Marketing of individuals in Hillsborough County that was paid for by Save Southern Heritage Florida. The poll said that 78 support the Confederate monument staying in place, with only 22 percent wanting it moved. On whether the public would support a measure to ensure that such Confederate monuments could not be removed in the future, 88 percent support that notion, and only 12 percent oppose it.

 

In the new vote, Commissioners Miller, Pat Kemp, Sandy Murman and Al Higginbotham voted for removal. Commissioners Ken Hagan and Stacy White were opposed.Commissioner Crist was absent and expressed disappointment that the meeting was not postponed to allow him to vote for removal.

 

Tampa lawyer Tom Scarritt has started a campaign called the “Tampa Statue Relocation Fund” on the crowd fundraising website GoFundMe. He said he hopes the idea “resolves an issue that divides us.” As of Wednesday afternoon, the cause had raised $225 toward a $200,000 goal.

 

UDC HAS 60 DAYS TO REMOVE MONUMENT
A one-sentence letter last week was the final nail in the coffin for Gainesville, Florida’s Confederate statue, “Old Joe.”

 

The United Daughters of the Confederacy has now taken ownership of the statue. For the past 113 years, the statue has stood tall outside the Alachua County Administration Building in downtown Gainesville.

 

On May 23, the Alachua County Commissioners voted to remove “Old Joe” and offered it to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who originally erected the statue in 1904. The board gave the UDC 60 days to respond. Fifty days later – on July 12 – they got their answer in the form of a six-word letter:

 

“We accept the Confederate Soldier Statue.”

 

The UDC now has an additional 60 days to remove the statue from County grounds, Assistant County Manager Gina Peebles said. After the removal, the women may do whatever they wish with “Old Joe,” Peebles said.

 

The United Daughters of the Confederacy could not be reached for comment.

 

Peebles said that “replacement” art will fill the vacancy once “Old Joe” has left for good. On Aug. 16, Peebles will discuss ideas for the new artwork with the Art in Public Places Program, a five-member board that recommends artwork to the County Commission on public projects.

 

FIREFIGHTERS TOLD TO TAKE IT DOWN

 

In North Carolina, Montgomery County Commissioners are speaking out against a Confederate Flag flying at a fire station.

 

The flag has been flying at the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department for years. Now, for the first time, the Board of Commissioners is officially asking firefighters to take it down.

 

A letter to the Uwharrie Fire Department reads in part:

 

The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners respectfully asks the volunteers of the Uwharrie Fire Department to remove the Confederate Flag from the building for which they are defacto stewards.

 

We ask you to do so, out of respect for the institution you have so admirably volunteered to serve.

 

NEW “JUDGE” IN CONTEMPT OF HIS OWN COURT

 

Carlos Moore is the first black person to become a Municipal Judge in Clarksdale, Mississippi. On his first day on the job, Monday, “Judge” Moore ordered his Bailiff to remove the Mississippi State Flag from his courtroom. , because that flag contains the Confederate emblem in its upper left corner.

 

“It was such a great feeling to see the police officer drag the despicable flag from the courtroom during open court. Great first day!” the “Judge” posted on Facebook on Monday.

 

This is the same Carlos Moore, who, as an attorney, filed a federal lawsuit last year seeking an injunction to stop the State from flying the Flag and to rule that its design is unconstitutional. We previously reported that US District Judge Carlton W. Reeves tossed that suit. But it appears that the publicity that Moore has received from it has propelled him into a very LOW-level “judgeship.”

 

Dixie Heritage
P.O. Box 618
Lowell, FL 32663