Join the movement to relocate Munn Park's confederate statue
Do you live within Lakeland city limits and wish to make your voice heard? Sign the local petition to relocate the confederate statue in Munn Park.
Should we relocate the monument in Munn Park? "Yes. I believe in healthy discussions that increase understanding as we hear the hearts of others. The monument reflects history and honors those who gave their lives to defend their cause. Giving your life to defend your country should be honored. Yet, the monument reminds other members of our community of the pain of defending that very same cause. A public space should celebrate the best aspect of our city – all its people. If we choose to relocate the monument, I’d also be in favor of adding plaques discussing that story and why we chose to do so for the greater good. The best opportunity we have to unify Lakeland is to honor all."
— Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz
"I am not opposed to those persons that want to preserve the good memories of their heritage. The history of the Civil War is being maintained in history books, museums, libraries and the internet as well as on private lands. I recognize Southerners rights to have pride in their heritages and build monuments on private property, but it should be without public assistance or recognition."
— Benjamin Jackson, Principal, JASC Enterprises
"The monument has little to do with removing anyone's heritage. Rather, its an insult and a horrible reminder of the remnants of slavery, which was a tragic period in U.S. History, as well as, an inhumane crime against humanity. This request is not to destroy it, but to relocate the monument to its rightful place."
— Doris Bailey, CEO, The Bailey Group
Should we relocate the monument in Munn Park? "Yes, rather than allow that to divide our community at a time when we must learn from history and build a city which provides more equitable opportunity for all. An alternative is to add additional monuments to tell the comprehensive story of our history and the effort to provide all the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
— Lakeland Commissioner Candidate Larry Durrence
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the monument was placed there to suppress the African-American, not to be inclusive, not to be reconciliatory. Let's find a new place for it.”
— Lakeland Commissioner Jim Malless
"There is a clear difference between remembering and celebrating. Our city's heritage must always be remembered, but not all of it must be celebrated. As we move toward a more just city, we must reshape what we celebrate. Relocating the confederate monument in Munn Park to another area for remembrance allows us to rightly celebrate at our city's center."
— Pastor Ben Turner, Strong Tower Church
"The burning of crosses, the water hoses, the dogs, the colored only signs and the civil war monuments are all symbols of racism used to send a message to African Americans to know you place. For those who oppressed they call it history, for those of us who suffered and lived this period, we call it painful memories. It is time to relocate this symbol of racism."
— Sylvia Blackmon Roberts, CEO, Blackmon Roberts Group