PHILADELPHIA, Miss. – On Monday, July 20, the Black Empowerment Organization (BEO) and community members will call on the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors to eliminate symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces by removing the Confederate monument located in front of the courthouse.
The following statement is from SPLC Action Fund Mississippi Policy Director Brandon Jones:
“For more than 100 years, the Confederate statue that sits in front of the Neshoba County Courthouse has served as a living symbol of white supremacy, erected to glorify those who fought to keep Black people enslaved and intimidated.
“What’s more insulting is that this particular Confederate monument evokes memories of the three murdered civil rights workers – Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney – who were buried in a local earthen dam in 1964 and the continued fight for racial equality and justice in this town and across the state.
“The Neshoba County Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to do the right thing by removing this dehumanizing and oppressive symbol from Philadelphia’s public space. Doing so would honor the city’s current values and people instead of dwelling in its separate but equal past.
“The BEO has long advocated for this monument’s removal from Philadelphia’s public space and the SPLC Action Fund supports them. The BEO’s protests for equity have been met with threats of violence, death, false arrests and cross burnings. These actions underscore the systemic racial bias that has existed in this country since well before the Civil War was lost, and has no place in a modern, civilized society.
“We join BEO and concerned members of the Philadelphia community in calling on the Supervisors to embrace the city’s shared and diverse future by removing this inhumane and brutal symbol of the past.”
The SPLC does not support erasing history, nor the defacing and/or destruction of any historic artifact. Learn about Confederate symbols on public land in the SPLC’s “Whose Heritage?” report.
In 2018, the SPLC released an updated version of its Whose Heritage? report, identifying nearly 1,800 Confederate monuments, parks, schools, state holidays and other symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces across the South and the nation.
In Mississippi alone, 146 Confederate symbols remain on public land; 52 of those symbols are monuments. To date, at least 4 Mississippi counties have voluntarily removed Confederate monuments away from courthouses.
Brandon Jones is available for print, radio and broadcast interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Kimberly Allen at email@example.com or (470) 582-6714.