In 2017, The “Bold New City of the South” should stop celebrating white supremacy
I’ve lived in Jacksonville, FL for 39 years and I’ve experienced my share of discrimination here. Like most southern cities, there’s a dark, racial history which many wish to forget. The city of Jacksonville is home to some ten bridges, schools and parks named after symbols of white supremacy. Here’s a brief snapshot of these landmarks:
Hart Bridge: Named after Isaiah David Hart, the founder of Jacksonville, obtained his wealth, according to Canter Brown Jr.’s biography of Hart’s son Ossian, the 10th governor of Florida , by stealing slaves and reselling them in the state of Georgia.
Fuller Warren Bridge: Named after the late Governor Fuller Warren, who publicly admitted to being a former klansman after being outed.
Mathews Bridge: Named after John C. Mathews, a Florida Senator created the “White Primary Bill” which barred black people from voting on primary elections.
Some believe the real goal behind removing the names of these landmarks is erasing history and demonizing white men. History can be read in a textbooks or viewed in museums. I’m also pretty sure there are white people who don’t represent white supremacy for which these landmarks can be named after. The city’s public spaces should not be used to uphold or glorify white supremacy. These landmarks are a constant reminder of oppression of one group of people at the hands of another. Therefore, these landmarks are offensive to any citizen who supports progress and democracy. As a city, if there is a real desire for racial justice and healing, all symbols of white supremacy should be removed at once. This isn’t even an issue that deserves a vote because nobody voted to name or put these racist symbols up so why should a vote be needed to rename them or take them down. Most were simply erected in defiance of the accomplishments of the civil rights movement. I’m very proud of fellow citizens and local progressive organizations who have signed on to support this very important endeavor.
Jacksonville elected it’s first black sheriff Nat Glover in 1995. Mr. Glover was re-elected in 1999.
Jacksonville elected it’s first black mayor Alvin Brown in 2011. Mr. Brown served from 2011-2015.
Today, we are the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose billionaire teamowner, Shad Khan is Muslim and an immigrant.
Once again, It’s way past time To #TAKEEMDOWNJAX