In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jacksonville's City Council President wants to round up and remove all Confederate monuments in the River City, saying they "represent a time in our history that caused pain to so many."
But a local historian tells Action News Jax that’s a bad idea and a slippery slope.
James Shillinglaw helps run the Museum of Southern History.
“Our monuments here in Jacksonville have nothing to do with what happened in Charlottesville,” Shillinglaw said.
Monday, City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche announced she wants an inventory of the city's Confederate monuments so they can be moved away from public property and into a museum setting.
“I don't believe in these Confederate statues being political footballs,” Shillinglaw said. “[City leaders] should play politics on their own. They shouldn't punish the statues for this.”
But City Councilman Garrett Dennis supports the move by Brosche.
“I truly believe that our city is one event away from a Charlottesville [incident], and whatever we have to do to protect Jacksonville at-large, we need to do it,” Dennis said.
Action News Jax Reporter Russell Colburn asked Shillinglaw what he would say to people who believe the monuments represent hate, racism and a black mark in American history.
“All cultures have a negative side to history,” Shillinglaw said. “If you did remove the monuments, would racism go away? Would it make things better?”
Brosche wants that inventory in the next 60 to 90 days.
Shillinglaw said if the city starts to take these monuments down, he’ll be out in the streets protesting it.
Cox Media Group