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The INSIDERS UPDATE: Looking Back at Racially Charged Issues

Insiders Update
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jun 25, 2015
and last updated 2017-12-13 05:25:10-05

FLORIDA, (WTXL) - The INSIDERS takes a look back at two stories that hit home in the community.

With the recent racially charged vandalism to three black churches, Wakulla County residents are looking for answers in a case that remains open.

And in light of the recent church shooting in an African American church in South Carolina and their debate regarding taking down the Confederate Flag from the State Captiol, WTXL takes a look back at one man's quest to remove Confederate memorials in Georgia.

The Confederate Flag

In October WTXL first told you about Mark George, a former Valdosta State University professor and his desire to remove Confederate memorials on from state property.

George says, taxpayers shouldn't foot the bills for the upkeep of these types of memorials. He sent a letter to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, asking him to ban and remove the monuments, which he says, symbolizes racism.

John C. Hall with the Sons of Confederate Veterans differs, saying the Confederate memorials stand for heritage.

Hall says, "He was in the third Georgia. The third Georgia flag is at the capitol. It's in tatters because it was shot so many times and blown up, so this is my family okay. I've gotten to know this man. He was fighting for the South, and it's just a part of your family. That's why I'm really touched by confederate stuff."

As South Carolina deals with the church shooting tragedy and debates whether or not to get rid of the Confederate Flag at the capital, Mark George is sending another letter, similar to the letter he sent Governor Deal last year. This letter goes to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calling for an end to all state confederate symbols,holidays, civil war reenactments, and the management of historic sites and monuments.

According to George, "It's great that people are coming together and healing but this is momentary I think it creates a false sense of solution all of that is going to be incredibly symbolic and we should do that we should grieve we should heal we should come together but unless we're making structural changes in the political cultural of our states in the South all of that is for knock because this will happen again."

George says, he is still working to have all confederate memorials removed from Georgia state property and says it will be a long battle.

KKK Vandalism

In the last eight months there have been three predominately black churches vandalized with the letters KKK locally, Mount Olive Primitive Baptist, New Bridge Hope Missionary Baptist and Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist churches. Also vandalized with KKK was a truck at Wildwood Golf Course and a number of street signs. Add to that local neighborhoods picketed for recruitment. 

The Buck Lake community is just one of the areas in Leon County where the KKK has been visible. Flyers were dropped off through out the area looking for new recruits. It's the groups main avenue for finding new members.

Anginita Rosier Organizing Committee President of the Wakulla County NAACP is no stranger to the KKK.

Rosier says, "This is not the message we need to be sending across the country. There is no place for this especially in our community"

Two area doctors are looking for answers. Both Dr. David Bellamy and Dr. Hank Hutchinson of Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic have donated $2,000 each for the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism to the three Wakulla churches. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office says, the case remains open. The Sheriff's office along with the Temple of Israel have pledged $1,000 each for information leading to an arrest. That puts the reward at $6,000.

If anyone has any information on the vandalism you are asked to call the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office at (850) 745-7100.