/Bolivar County will remove its Confederate monument

Bolivar County will remove its Confederate monument

Supervisor Jacorius Liner moved to remove the monument; none of the supervisors voted against it. The board granted Ellis Turnage permission to investigate the legality of removing this monument at their last meeting. Turnage advised the board at their Monday regular meeting of the state law that a Confederate monument must be relocated in a suitable place such as a cemetery, Civil War site or other historical location. The board has not yet made any decisions about where, when or how much the statue will be moved. Liner stated that it is not the board’s responsibility to decide where the monument should go, but to remove it and then have discussions with appropriate agencies across the state. Donny Whitten, the board vice-president, initially wanted to postpone the vote until all questions about the costs and logistics of moving a monument were answered by the county. He voted for it when it was time to vote. “It is premature to move the Confederate monument without all of my questions being answered. But I can understand the reasoning and heartfelt emotions behind the motion. Whitten stated, “I absolutely do.” On July 3, a group of 20 protestors marched up to the monument demanding its removal and that it not be paid for by the county or the city. They also demanded the replacement of the monument by a monument to Black liberation, commissioned by a Bolivar County Black artist, and that the city and county shift resources away form policing toward “community-led education and recreational programs for Black youth.” Liner, who was the supervisor, said during the meeting that the costs of moving it should be borne by the county. It’s located on our property, on the lawn. Liner stated that it would be our responsibility, regardless of the cost. This is just the latest movement in a flood across the country to stop the glorifying of the Confederacy. The most prominent example being the recent Mississippi Legislature decision to alter the state flag. It was the last flag in the nation that featured the Confederate emblem. Bolivar County’s monument was built in 1908 by the Daughters of the Confederacy. Their movement was part of larger efforts to rewrite the history of the Confederacy, and promote the idea that the Civil War was more about states’ rights than slavery. Larry King, Board vice president, said that Confederate statues are meant to honor “those who enslaved us (African Americans)” towards the end. “I think we’re doing the right thing to end that celebration, and celebrate something better.” _x000D