Discussion on removal of East Feliciana Confederate statue delayed to allow for public input
CLINTON - Officials delayed a discussion set for Monday night on the removal of a Confederate statue to allow for more public input in a larger venue.
The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury planned to discuss whether to remove or relocate the 111-year-old Confederate statue outside of the Clinton courthouse.
Those in attendance still had plenty to say about the statue's future.
"I think it's time for it to go because it's causing too much conflict in the parish, too much confusion in the parish," Clinton resident George Veal said. "It's time now for us to love one another."
Peggy Kirby, another Clinton resident, disagreed.
"People look at this statue in a different way," Kirby said. "Some people look at it offensive, and some of us don't. It's not offensive to me."
Attendees who wanted a thorough discussion of the subject said they were pleased about the plan for the additional hearing.
"I think our nation is built upon the voices of the people," East Feliciana resident Jason Stanford said. "So anytime you can do that, get more interaction, I think it's always a better plan."
Others would prefer that the voters, not the police jury, make the decision.
"I think you should vote on it," Kirby said. "We vote who we want to be president. We vote on everything. Why can't we vote on the statue?"
In a small community like Clinton, some are worried the statue controversy will deepen the racial divide.
"Do not allow this statue to come between you and I," Veal said. "Do not allow that to happen."
Some at the meeting say it's time for officials to decide whether the statue stays or goes.
"I think the public's going to demand a decision one way or another," Stanford said. "They've had this come up in this parish once before and they nipped it then. So they just to go ahead and make a decision to what they're going to do."
Police Jury President Louis Kent tells WBRZ the public hearing will be held on either June 23 or June 25 in Clinton.