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Jacksonville, Florida, mayor has Confederate monument removed after years of controversy

by Chloe Baker
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In Jacksonville, Florida, the mayor, Donna Deegan, has ordered the removal of a Confederate monument from Springfield Park. This decision comes after years of controversy surrounding the monument. Known as the “Tribute to the Women of the Southern Confederacy,” this monument had been situated in the park since 1915. Mayor Deegan emphasized that the intent behind this removal is not an attempt to erase history but rather to reflect the lessons learned from it.

Mayor Deegan expressed the significance of symbols, stating that they convey our values and aspirations to the world. By taking down the Confederate monument, she aims to send a powerful message about our shared humanity, the belief in equality, and the commonality of our humanity in terms of flesh, blood, heart, and soul.

The debate surrounding the fate of this monument began in earnest in 2020, following the removal of another Confederate statue by Mayor Lenny Curry, Deegan’s predecessor. This move came in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent calls for social justice. A proposal to remove the Confederate women tribute was brought before the Jacksonville City Council in 2021 but did not progress, given the Republican-controlled board’s inaction. However, earlier this month, Jacksonville’s Office of General Counsel determined that city council approval was unnecessary, as city funds were not being used for the removal. As the city’s top executive, Mayor Deegan, a Democrat, had the authority to order the statue’s removal. The cost of $187,000 for this endeavor is covered by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and anonymous donors, according to city officials.

In response to the removal, Florida Rep. Dean Black, who chairs the Republican Party of Duval County, criticized it as an abuse of power. He characterized it as part of a larger trend he perceives among woke Democrats, referring to it as an obsession with Cancel Culture and the removal of historical monuments.

The Confederate monument will now be placed in city storage while both the community and the city council deliberate on its future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Confederate Monument Removal

What was the name of the Confederate monument removed in Jacksonville?

The Confederate monument removed in Jacksonville was known as the “Tribute to the Women of the Southern Confederacy.”

Why was the Confederate monument removed?

The removal of the Confederate monument was ordered by Mayor Donna Deegan after years of public controversy. She stated that it was not an attempt to erase history but to convey that society has learned from it.

When did the serious discussion about the monument’s removal begin?

Serious discussion regarding the Confederate monument’s fate began in 2020 after Mayor Lenny Curry, the predecessor of Mayor Donna Deegan, ordered the removal of another Confederate statue. This move followed the death of George Floyd and the surge in calls for social justice.

What was the outcome of the proposal to remove the monument in 2021?

In 2021, a proposal to remove the Confederate women tribute was introduced to the Jacksonville City Council, but the Republican-controlled board did not take any action on it. However, it was later determined that city council approval was unnecessary, as city funds were not used for the removal. Mayor Deegan, as the city’s top executive, had the authority to order the removal.

Who is covering the cost of the monument’s removal?

The cost of $187,000 for the removal of the Confederate monument is being covered by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and anonymous donors, as stated by city officials.

What is the current status of the Confederate monument?

The monument has been placed in city storage and will remain there until members of the community and the city council determine what to do with it.

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