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Some call to remove Confederate statues while others support preserving their history

Posted at 11:38 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 23:38:32-04

QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — After cries from the community to remove Gadsden County's Confederate monument. commissioners are preparing to see if that's possible.

This comes after similar conversations across the nation asking if the Confederacy's history deserves a place in the public.

The monument in Quincy was placed in 1884 by the Ladies of the Memorial Association of Gadsden County Florida. More than 100 years later, people say the monument and what it represents is too painful to be on public property.

Peppered throughout the south are monuments to remember the soldiers of the Confederate military.

Florida A&M professor Larry Rivers says the south wanted state's rights to govern over property.

"There are many causes of the Civil War, but the Confederacy said they were fighting the war over the concept of state's rights," said Rivers. "The most valuable property was enslaved human beings."

While the south ultimately lost that battle, memorials and monuments are displayed, leaving a country divided on their place in our communities.

"To look at the whole Confederate monument, so we're looking at a reaction to the freedom of blacks and a reaction by some southerners that the south lost the war, but they would not lose the war in the public square," Rivers said.

From the Gadsden County Courthouse to Florida State University and even the Florida Capitol, the call to bring those monuments down continues.

"It's a slap in the face," said Charles Gee. "It needs to be removed."

Gee says the monument is hurtful to many in Gadsden County, where the majority of the population is African American.

While the monument at the courthouse was erected in 1884, many others tell the story of another dark piece of America's history.

"Many of those monuments came into being as a result of the Jim Crow era and segregation," said Rivers.

But not everyone is on board with monuments coming down.

"If you're interested in removing history, you're bound to repeat it," Rich Diaz said.

Diaz says while it can be hurtful, the monument also shows how far America has come.

"I think it's a terrible idea to take it down," said Diaz.

Gadsden County commissioners will discuss its removal Thursday. It will be the third time commissioners have discussed it.