Paducah residents divided on removal of Confederate statue - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Paducah residents divided on removal of Confederate statue

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PADUCAH -- More than 1,500 people in Paducah disagree with the president. They've signed a petition calling for the removal of a Confederate statue in Fountain Square.

Richard Jones isn't a fan of the statue of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman being on public property.

"What is that statue saying to me? Nothing, it's just a statue. Can we rewrite history? No," said Jones.

But rewriting history is exactly what Donald McNeil says this online petition to remove the statue would do.

"It ought to say. It's absolutely insane to try to rewrite history," said McNeil.

That's why other Paducah residents started a petition hoping to save the statue sitting right in the heart of this mixed community.

"We've got old people, black, white, asian, very diverse and never an incident here over race," said McNeil.

He claims taking the statue down only pushes people farther apart.

"If you want to start entering race into this, you start making people divide," he added.

You can't rewrite history, but Jones says you can remove reminders of it's mistakes.

"I'm half white, I'm half black," he said. "When are we going to stop the hatred?"

Mayor Brandi Harless says she and the city's historical commission have a lot to talk about when it comes to tearing the statue down. She also added that hate and bigotry have no place in her community.

To see the petition to remove the statue, click here.

To see the petition to keep the statue, click here.

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