Florida Representative Takes a Stand to Protect and Revive Confederate Monuments
Image By: The Center Square

Florida Representative Takes a Stand to Protect and Revive Confederate Monuments

A new bill in Florida might bring back Confederate monuments if it gets approved by the Legislature this year.

State Rep. Dean Black, R-Jacksonville, is behind the bill, which not only bans the removal of Confederate monuments and other historical memorials but also makes it mandatory for local governments to put back any that were taken down since 2017.

In Jacksonville, Mayor Donna Deegan recently took down two statues that honored women from the Confederacy, as reported by the Florida Times-Union.

The bill is called House Bill 395, and it’s named the Historical Monuments and Memorials Protection Act.

“It is the intent of the Legislature that the state of Florida takes all actions to protect and preserve all historical monuments and memorials from removal, damage, or destruction,” the bill reads.

Any elected official who breaks the law can be fined or removed from office. If local governments can’t afford to restore monuments removed since 2017, the state will give them funds, which will be taken from future state grants.

Cecile Scoon, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, said that Black’s proposed law is part of a pattern in Florida to hide the state’s troubled racial history.

“Only the history that shows white people in control, slave owners fighting for their South so that they could own people, that’s the kind of history that must be shown,” she told The Center Square. “That’s obscene.”

Scoon noted that the NAACP had issued a travel advisory for Black individuals visiting Florida last year.

The NAACP issued the warning in reference to Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who is currently running for president. “In his effort to rewrite American history to exclude the voices, contributions of African Americans and the challenges they overcame despite the systemic racism that African Americans have faced since first arriving in this country,” the NAACP stated.

According to Scoon, Black’s law gives Black folks a same message.

“It says, ‘You’re not welcome and that the only history that matters is white history,” said Scoon.

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.