MCCOMB, Miss. — A century-old Confederate monument could be moved from a city hall in Mississippi.
Black members of the McComb city board say the monument should be moved elsewhere. The mayor, who is white, says he agrees.
McComb, with a 66 percent black population, has a city Board of Selectmen made up of three black Democrats and three white Republicans. If there is a tie vote on moving the monument, it would be broken by Republican Mayor Whitney Rawlings.
“I believe this monument should be removed,” Rawlings said at a public meeting Tuesday, the Enterprise-Journal reported. He said city leaders should develop a plan for where the monument could go, and they could discuss the issue again in September.
Elsewhere in Mississippi, supervisors said this week that they could consider moving a Confederate monument from outside the Attala County Courthouse.
The discussions come amid national debate over the public display of Confederate symbols.
While many Mississippi cities and counties have statues of Confederate soldiers, the monument in McComb is an upright slab with benches on two sides.
Albert Eubanks, the McComb selectman who proposed moving the monument, said it’s a symbol of oppression.
“I?understand it is hard for people to let go of things that they’ve grown up with their whole life, but sometimes we have to move forward and be progressive,” Eubanks said. “I understand that these things hurt, but you don’t understand how it hurts a people to have to walk past that, to live under that.”
Ted Tullos, a selectman who wants the monument to stay, said one of his ancestors died fighting for the Confederacy.
“I understand Black History Month. I understand black history museums,” Tullos said. “Some people want their history and they don’t want others to have their history, so I will vote against removing history.”
Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com