The issue of a Confederate monument in Munn Park in downtown Lakeland is heating up again.
- Commissioners will take up issue at Dec. 4 meeting
- Compromise sought to satisfy monument opponents, supporters
- ARTICLE: New approach to Confederate monument debate
- ARTICLE: City's contextualization plan for Confederate monuments
That's because city commissioners are considering a resolution to keep the monument in place but possibly add one or more additional monuments to reflect the historical progress in civil rights.
At Monday's city commission meeting, a number of black church leaders and residents spoke out strongly against the idea of keeping the monument in the park.
"You know it needs to be moved. Everybody in here knows it needs to be moved. So move it," said one resident.
However, Commissioner Phillip Walker said moving the monument was not the unanimous opinion of black residents.
"I've got African Americans telling me don't move it," he said. Walker and several other commissioners are looking for a compromise that would satisfy both monument opponents and supporters.
"I think it's a balance. It's a balance for both sides," he said.
Florida NAACP Vice President Don Brown believes leaving the monument in place and adding an additional monument won't work.
"I think it's a bad idea. How can you round out somebody hanging me, treating me like I'm not human. It reminds us of that," said Brown.
One supporter of keeping the monument and adding something additional cited a proposal at Princeton University as an example of an effort to recognize historical injustice while preserving something historic.
City commissioners will take up the issue at a Dec. 4 commission meeting.