The Florida NAACP is demanding that Gov. Rick Scott remove a Confederate monument — as well as flags and memorials — from the grounds of the Capitol.
The civil rights group also wants state lawmakers to ban “all Confederate statues, flags and memorials” from public lands across Florida.
The call for the removal and the ban comes as cities throughout the Sunshine State and the nation grapple with growing pressure to remove what for some are a reminder of the country’s shameful history but for others represent a cultural heritage.
Here’s this morning’s press release from Adora Obi Nweze, president of the NAACP Florida State Conference, who’s also a member of the board of directors:
“The NAACP is against all forms of hate, racism, and discrimination. With the hatred and pure evil on display in Charlottesville and this movement now appears to have its sights on Florida to incite violence and create major disruption. It’s time for our Governor, State Senators and State Representatives to show leadership. We are demanding the Governor immediately remove all Confederate statues, flags and memorials from our State Capitol grounds in Tallahassee. We call on all members of the Florida Legislature to stand together and end the bigotry that has divided us for too long and support a bill banning all Confederate statues, flags and memorials from public grounds across the State of Florida. We are and will continue to be steadfast and immovable in the fight against discrimination, prejudice and hatred,” Nweze said in the release.
The NAACP’s demands follow a renewed push by state Sen. Perry Thurston to replace a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith with a likeness of Mary McLeod Bethune —- an educator and civil-rights activist who founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman University —- to represent Florida in the U.S. Capitol.