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Removing all traces of the Confederacy from Jacksonville is impossible and wouldn’t change history in any case.

There was a Confederate States of America, there was slavery and there was a Civil War. All are long gone.

Virtually everyone learned about all of them in high school, college and other sources.

Liberals have sought for decades to divide Americans into tribes and pit them against each other. The latest, and most hateful, tactic in this long-standing strategy is to revise history, and blur the distinction between then and now to sow racial discord.

Thus, they want to keep the Civil War alive, but alter the actual causes and effects to fit into their strategy.

In Jacksonville, it resulted in the removal – in the dead of night – of a statue in Hemming Plaza, now Johnson Park.

But that one change wasn’t enough. The current focus is on historical monuments in Springfield Park.

Liberals want to remove a statue that was erected to honor the widows and children of the Civil War dead who lived in the South.

In 2018, a City Council Task Force on Civil Rights History held hearings and produced recommendations for greater recognition of the achievements of local residents with black skin and improving race relations.

Many local people and organizations endorsed the plan. It did not recommend removing local statues and historical monuments.

Blake Harper is a local activist who heads the Unity Project, which seeks to use the task force report and unify the various interests, liberal and conservative, without erasing history.

His group would prefer to leave the statues but add context to them, while also giving greater recognition to the achievements of black residents. On Facebook, it espouse telling the whole story of Jacksonville, and restoring the interwoven fabric of our city, its communities and its people.

Mayor Lenny Curry tried to get the council to remove statues liberals don’t like but the council put the matter aside last year, a move supported by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Civic Council. Recently, City Council Member Matt Carlucci brought it to the forefront once again with a resolution calling for the removal of the statue honoring motherhood.  It will have the first of three readings Tuesday night and public comments will be heard.

In a statement issued this week, Curry said, “On Oct. 21, 2021, my administration proposed a solution (Ord 2021-752) regarding confederate monuments. This legislation provided a secure funding source for the removal and relocation of the Tribute to The Women of the Confederacy monument in Springfield Park. The City Council had the opportunity to support or reject the removal of this monument. At their meeting on November 9th, they refused to vote, and instead withdrew this important piece of legislation.”

Harper blames outside groups and the militant local group called the Northside Coalition for reigniting the controversy.

Ironically, it was the Northside Coalition’s call for removing statues that led to the Task Force looking at race, Harper said. He also thinks the task force’s refusal to endorse the removal of statues is significant. “Silence is consent,” he said.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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