One down, more to go: Jacksonville to dump Confederate monuments

confederate hemming
Overnight, it disappeared.

Overnight, a controversial statue commemorating the Civil War’s Confederate cause was removed from Jacksonville’s Hemming Park.

At this point, that is the only one of the city’s monuments of that type to come down. But the rest are coming, Mayor Lenny Curry said Tuesday.

Curry said he “evolved” on the importance of the issue in remarks to reporters during a march to and from the Duval County Courthouse.

“I’ve heard people … I’ve evolved,” the Mayor said. “The others in the city will be removed as well.”

Jacksonville has at least two more monuments, put in place between 1898 and 1926; and eight historic markers.

The monuments include the ‘Monument to the Women of the Southland’ in Confederate Park in Springfield, and a Confederate Memorial Services grandstand at the Old City Cemetery.

The historical markers are on the Northbank Riverwalk, Walter Jones Park in Mandarin, the Old City Cemetery, the Prime Osborn Convention Center, Lenox Ave. near Cedar Creek (memorializing a “skirmish”), Confederate Park, and Camp Milton Historic Preserve.

The move comes as Curry prepares to announce other policy changes in the wake of protests over the course of weeks since police in Minneapolis killed George Floyd.

For Curry, a second-term Republican, the move represents another in a series of policy evolutions.

In 2017, the Mayor resisted the push, worried about extremist elements.

“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.

Back in 2017, when former Jacksonville City Council President Anna Brosche floated removing the monuments, it was against public opinion in one poll.

According to the University of North Florida, 38% of registered voters wanted them gone, while 53% of registered voters wanted the monuments to remain.

Since then, there has been a sea change in national politics, with heavy scrutiny on memorials such as the one in Hemming Park.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com


16 comments

  • James

    June 9, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Oh Curry knows they need to be removed, he was dragging his feet but at this moment it will give him good press. He knows he is losing his grip on power and to be seen as a racist now would not be a good image for any future ambition he may have. These are small and tiny incremental moves to bring his party back into the 21st century.

    • jon

      June 9, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      James, you appear to not know the history of America or about the civil war. Let me help… The south was a slave owning democrat stronghold. The civil war was a war of abolition (abolishment of slave owning) between the north and the south lead by Abraham Lincoln, you know, the big stone guy sitting in the chair next to the reflecting pond in D.C.. To be clear. The demoRATS were racist and created the KKK. THE END

      • LarryLinn

        June 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm

        Nixon’s Southern Strategy, turned the South into Republicans.

      • Sharon

        June 10, 2020 at 3:50 pm

        Amen, our HISTORY is being destroyed. It is a shame that what was learned and taught is no longer. Besides, the history should go back to Africa where the people were sold as slaves by their own leaders.

        • susan

          June 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm

          This is so true.alot of black slaves were owned by their own black people.stop blaming the white race.those statues need to stay.they been here for hundred of years.it is a part of our history

          • Tammy

            June 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

            jon,I do agree with you.What I don’t understand is why are black people complaining these old statues are (hurting them) when their own people fought in the civil war? Aren’t they proud of what they did? I am a Yankee and I have never heard them say (it was President Abraham Lincoln who freed us) who was white. Don’t white people matter anymore. I do agree they need to leave these Memorial statues from the Civil War ALONE!!!

      • Tammy

        June 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        jon,I do agree with you.What I don’t understand is why are black people complaining these old statues are (hurting them) when their own people fought in the civil war? Aren’t they proud of what they did? I am a Yankee and I have never heard them say (it was President Abraham Lincoln who freed us) who was white. Don’t white people matter anymore. I do agree they need to leave these Memorial statues from the Civil War ALONE!!!

  • Frankie M.

    June 9, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Gary Snow won’t be happy. Funny how quickly this issue got on Lenny’s radar. All it took was Chris Conley mentioning it in a speech outside JSO Friday and Leonard Fournette organizing a protest for this morning in Hemming Plaza. I don’t think the timing was a coincidence. Shad Khan probably paid for the removal. Maybe the Jaguars should run this city?

  • jon

    June 9, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Ronnie Van Zant ain’t gonna like that action. I find it funny how demoRATS are trying to erase their racist past and anything about their slave owning and defending history!

    • Tammy

      June 10, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      AMEN jon

  • Curry the Scalawag

    June 9, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Shad Khan does run the city. Lets look at Curry’s record. He tore down the landing, Khan probably wants the space, he tore down the Hart expressway ramp, Khan needs that space, he tried to see our jewell JEA,, we will never forgive him for that, now he destroys history, Khan was behind that, Curry is just a puppet. Curry’s political career is over. Curry is a scalawag.

  • Sonja Fitch

    June 9, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    I am overjoyed that a statue has been removed. Time will tell!

  • Ann

    June 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Pacifying Jaquar Players who do not know or care about history.

  • Bystander

    June 10, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Come to think of it, the name “Jacksonville” might offend some people. Think we ought to change that too?

  • Kay Allen

    June 10, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    I am 75 years old and the America I have loved all my life is gone forever. I was born in Alabama and lived back and forth from there to Jacksonville Fl all my life. I have never been a racists. I have had black friends that I love all my life. It is truly a sad day when one group can have so much hate and power that it removes history in a blink of an eye. I am praying for our country because the America I grew up loving and respecting is gone and will never be again. I respect our Flag, National Anthem, police, military, and President. I never would believe that people can hate all of these things and make changes that hurt so many God fearing Americans. I will continue to pray for our city, state and country. I will continue to respect God, Flag. National Anthem and our President. I close now, but I am asking God to please heal our land.

  • James Selby

    June 10, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    American here,and I will take every statue of United States history that you people want to take down.Shame on you for forgetting our history.Look up Teddy Roosevelt’s comments about being a real American .

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704