Central Illinois discusses confederate statues and flags

Together We Rise

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Some say statues of confederate generals and the confederate flag are racist because they represent a group of people who pushed for white supremacy, but others say its history.

The confederate flag, also known as the stars and bars, was the first national flag of the confederacy. Recently the death of George Floyd left people analyzing our country’s history and some say it’s time for this flag to go.

Linda Foster president of the Bloomington Normal NAACP says for 13.4% of black Americans who live in this country, the confederate flag means slavery should never have ended because the debate over slavery sparked the civil war.

“I don’t see how anybody can think other than, it being racist, There’s nothing that I can see that would make it be anything today that can be positive and that we can be proud of,” Foster said.

Grouped in this conversation are confederate statues honoring southern generals who risked their lives to keep their way of life. Recently there’s been a push to remove all of them as some say it puts a face to the words, ‘slavery and oppression.’

The argument has made its way to Peoria, and although there are no Confederate statues, there is one of Christopher Columbus.

Many believe that the statue is offensive because he mistreated and exploited Native Americans, but Peoria park district Executive Director Emily Cahill said before they remove it they want to know how many people want it taken down.

“Our goal would be that by the end of July the board is able to vote either to remove or to add some educational signage and some advocacy around tolerance and equity,” Cahill said.

The park district will hold a public meeting where you can share your thoughts on August 5th.

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