Lenny Curry warns of 'chatter from outside groups' opposed to Confederate monument removal - Florida Politics

Lenny Curry warns of ‘chatter from outside groups’ opposed to Confederate monument removal

During a Jacksonville press gaggle Tuesday, Mayor Lenny Curry warned of “chatter” heard by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in the wake of Council President Anna Brosche‘s proposal to remove Confederate monuments.

Curry comments came during questions to Gov. Rick Scott and him regarding the proposed removal of these monuments — a proposal fraught with controversy locally, with that controversy even extending to the Council.

“I do think it’s important when we talk about public safety to recognize that how this is pursued in our community is important,” Curry said.

“I get briefed by the Sheriff regularly. I can tell you right now from discussions with him, based on Council’s wanting to outright say they want to remove these — there’s chatter from these outside groups. People in Charlottesville are already talking about coming to Jacksonville. We want to keep those groups out of our city, and we want to work together as a community to have a civil discourse.”

“I’m not proposing we remove these monuments,” Curry said. “Certainly, if the public wants to have that conversation — now the Council President has said this is her priority to remove them.”

“I urge the Council to have that discussion, that debate, Whatever they decide, I’ll evaluate it when it lands on my desk at that time,” Curry said, refraining from a commitment to sign or veto the bill when asked.

Council President Brosche addressed Curry’s comments later Tuesday afternoon, saying that she’s “kicked off a process for defining an orderly and respectful solution for consideration by the Council and Mayor. I hope the community can allow that process to work.”

Gov. Scott said that Florida’s “representative governments” should “discuss and review” these monuments.

“At the local level,” Scott said, “they can make a decision.”

The same holds true for the state and federal level.

“We need to go through a process where everybody comes together, makes a decision, then we go forward. My goal is that we are unifiers … that hatred, bigotry, racism should not be part of our society. In regard to monuments,” Scott said, “that decision should be made through a local process.”

“Our state comes together … we have to be the best melting pot in the world … we get together in our state. We solve problems in our state,” Scott said, urging trust in the “process,” one which includes the Mayor.


  1. Is Curry gonna “lead” on this the same way he “led” on LGBT? If so he might just wanna get out of the way now. The biggest “chatter” will come from his boss in DC who opposes anyone who stands up to Nazis & the KKK. We’re supposed to ignore them & look the other way. That didn’t work out too well in the past.

  2. i just signed it to save are HISTORY ,IT`S NOT ABOUT racial discrimination,MLK was against the gays ,,the first slavery was a black man that own a black man,,,we have all black colleges,,know one has never said any thing SO DONT TAKE ARE HISTORY AWAY, these status is what we tell the Next Generation how these soldiers died on both sides and put everything they had into fighting that war both sides suffered have respect for the Dead

  3. Published Thursday, August 24, 2000

    Discrimination in all its forms must be axed

    By The Times-Union
    Imagine a group of seventh- and eighth-graders is seated at a lunch counter in a downtown store.
    They are remarkably well-behaved, though the adults behind the lunch counter clearly aren’t happy they are there, greeting the kids with sullen, menacing glares.
    Suddenly a group of adult males bursts into the store — angry men, wielding axe handles as weapons. The targets of their rage are those kids at the lunch counter.
    The kids begin to scatter. Eventually most of them reach a church located on the city’s central square and find sanctuary from the axe handles there.
    But throughout the attack, though it happens in the middle of the downtown business district, there’s not a cop in sight.
    It’s a grim tale, another example of the ethnic strife that plagued the 20th century. And it happened in Jacksonville.
    Until I heard the remarks Alton Yates made a couple of weeks ago during a ceremony transferring Historic Snyder Memorial from the Methodist Church to the St. Johns River City Band, I had never heard of Axe Handle Saturday.
    But hearing of it didn’t surprise me. I grew up in the South and remember the at best grudging and frequently violent way in which white Southerners reacted to the Civil Rights movement.
    1960 was the year of the lunch counter sit-in. Determined to break the rule of Jim Crow custom that prevented them from using the same water fountains or rest rooms or restaurants as white folk, blacks began staging nonviolent protests at lunch counters in various Southern cities.
    In Jacksonville, two weeks of sit-ins climaxed on Saturday, Aug. 27, when the Ku Klux Klan chose to invade the heart of the city armed with clubs.
    Most of the kids found sanctuary in Historic Snyder Memorial, then a Methodist church. The cops didn’t move in until a gang of black youths who called themselves the Boomerangs counterattacked, Yates said.
    As it turned out, some good may have come of Axe Handle Saturday. Yates said it was a turning point, that “good people who had sat on the sidelines, got involved” in the Civil Rights movement.
    And if Axe Handle Saturday is getting a wave of publicity this week as we observe its 40th anniversary, that’s also to the good. The next time some middle-aged white guy complains he’s being discriminated against because he can no longer use racial epithets with impunity, remind him that 40 years ago, it was OK with way too many people in Jacksonville to beat children with axe handles because those children happened to be black. Then tell him to stop whining.
    Charlie Patton writes about the arts and popular culture for the Times-Union.

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