Historic Accomplice monuments are being taken down and defaced from protests over the demise of George Floyd.


JACKSON, Miss. – Calls are growing for a white Mississippi elected official to both step down as supervisor board president or resign solely amid racist remarks he made to an area newspaper after voting towards relocating a Accomplice monument in entrance of the county courthouse.

The official is just not solely rejecting these calls, however doubling down on his stance. 

“I am not going to face and run from it; hell, it is what I believe,” Lowndes County Supervisor Harry Sanders stated Tuesday. 

On Monday, after a 3-2 vote to relocate a Accomplice statue to the native cemetery failed, Sanderstold Starkville, Mississippi, newspaper The Commercial Dispatch that Black individuals have been depending on society as a result of they have been “taken care of” throughout slavery. 

“In my view, they have been slaves, and due to that, they did not should exit and earn any cash, they did not should do something,” Sanders stated. “Whoever owned them, took care of them, fed them, clothed them, labored them. They grew to become dependent, and that dependency remains to be there. The Democrats proper right here who depend upon the Black vote to get elected, they make them depending on them.”

Sanders advised the Mississippi Clarion Ledger of the USA TODAY Community that his feedback have been made off the report however he stood by them.

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The Business Dispatch couldn’t instantly be reached for remark Tuesday.

Of the statue, Sanders advised the paper, “We’ve not had slavery in the USA for 150 years. Why is it nonetheless a problem?”

Sanders additionally appeared to check slavery to the internment of Japanese Americans throughout World Battle II who have been later paid reparations. 

“We did not do the Japanese proper right here in World Battle II, we put all of them … in a focus camp and all the things and no person stated a rattling phrase about it as we speak,” he stated. “Are the Japanese all upset about that, burning stuff down and all that? No, they’ve (been) assimilated into the nation and they’re doing fantastic. The one ones which can be having the issues, guess who? The African People.”

On Tuesday morning, when requested whether or not he understood how the feedback might be perceived as racist, Sanders stated, “I actually do however, look, you may’t change historical past. Am I not supposed to speak about what occurred 150 years in the past? Am I not supposed to speak about what occurred in World Battle II with the Japanese? Am I not supposed to speak about any of that?

“It comes off (as racist) due to the best way they put it within the newspaper. That is not the best way I stated, it however that is OK.”

Sanders: ‘You’ll be able to’t change historical past’

Throughout Monday’s supervisor assembly, Supervisor Leroy Brooks made the movement to relocate the statue. Sanders made a “compromise movement,” he stated, to place one thing on the monument with historic context, together with “the Blacks and the slavery to say it was all flawed” however “they did not wish to even hear that.”

Sanders stated he then withdrew the movement “as a result of Leroy insisted I withdraw it when Leroy stated … ‘Let’s simply go forward and vote on not shifting the statue.'”

“I gave slightly and so they did not wish to do something about it.” 

Brooks stated Sanders made a substitute movement so as to add context to the statue however didn’t present further particulars, a transfer he noticed as a “distraction.”

“I stated, ‘I’d simply moderately you vote sure or no.’ He by no means acknowledged what we wished on there, he was simply attempting to distract from what was the problem. For those who added one thing, the statue was nonetheless there,” Brooks stated.

The movement failed alongside racial strains. There are three white supervisors on the board and two Black. 

No matter Sanders’ emotions on the problem, Brooks stated, “that doesn’t give him the best” to make the racistremarks. Brooks additionally famous that, with roughly 60,000 residents, Lowndes County is 46% Black. 

“If we have been in a big metropolis and an elected official says one thing like that, they might in all probability destroy the courthouse,” Brooks stated. “No matter his motive was, for him to insult Black individuals the best way he did and diminish us to the purpose of nothingness, who does that?”

Lowndes County district lawyer Scott Colom condemned Sanders’ remarks, equating them to lies utilized by the KKK. 

“Supervisor Sanders’ ignorant and vile feedback have it backwards,” Colom stated. “Slave house owners relied on beating, rape, separation of households and worry to take care of free labor. 

“These are the sorts of lies the KKK rely on to advertise white supremacy. He needs to be ashamed of himself.”

The statue was erected in 1912 and is inscribed, “In honor of the troopers of Lowndes County who nobly dared life and fortune in protection of the southern confederacy.”

In talking with the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Sanders didn’t apologize for his remarks. Of the statue, he repeatedly stated, “you may’t change historical past.”

“I prefer it the place it’s; I do not wish to transfer it,” Sanders stated. “It has been there 100 years and there is no purpose to take away it. You’ll be able to’t change historical past by sweeping it below the rug. You’ll be able to’t change what that statue says. It’s worthwhile to simply settle for what it says and transfer on together with your life.”

When requested whether or not he understood how Black residents of Lowndes County may really feel like their emotions towards the statue aren’t being acknowledged, Sanders stated, “The Black individuals aren’t acknowledging how white individuals really feel.

“They are saying ‘Black Lives Matter’, white lives matter too, Chinese language lives matter…they tore down Christopher Columbus’ statue. George Washington owned slaves. Do you wish to change the identify of the Washington Monument, do you wish to change the identify of our capital? You wish to change the identify of Jefferson Davis County, do you wish to change the identify of Lee County, change the identify of Forrest County? There’s acquired to be a stopping place someplace.”

In gentle of Sanders’ feedback, Brooks stated he has acquired extra cellphone calls from involved residents than he has in current reminiscence: 

“If there was any query about whether or not the Black neighborhood was unified, Harry Sanders unified (it). They’re all saying the identical factor, ‘It is time for him to go, he cannot symbolize Lowndes County any extra.'”

A press convention with the NAACP was set for Wednesday to sentence Sanders’ feedback and name for his resignation, Brooks stated.

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Contact Sarah Fowler at 601-961-7303 or Observe her on Facebook and Twitter.

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