LAFAYETTE, La. -(KLFY) Race-related questions dominated Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s second town hall meeting.
The statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton was donated to Lafayette by The Daughters of the Confederacy in 1922, It has been the target of many local protests, and the conversation for its removal continued on Wednesday.
“This is somebody who beat, murdered and killed slaves, and its standing downtown, and its affecting our black community,” said Peter Savoca addressing the Guillory. “Are we just going to let it stand there, or are you going to be held accountable if it does not get taken down?”
When pressed on the removal of the confederate statue, the mayor-president said an announcement could be made in a week or two.
“I’m questioning how much good that statue actually does,” admitted Mayor-President Guillory.
He said he has to respect the courts which settled a lawsuit preventing the statue from being removed in 1980, but he can see how it hurts people and he is working on a change.
“I am in deep, deep conversations with many people that are involved,” stated Guillory. “I feel confident that a peaceful solution will come out of this.”
Other people questioned why the mayor-president has not been more vocal with issues of police brutality and racism apart from an initial statement and attending a rally.
Morgane Prejean lives in Lafayette and says she’s been racially profiled. She told the city and parish leader, “I’m not really expecting you to bust out with all these changes, but I just feel disturbed a little bit with your lack of commentary on that.”
Guillory said he created the Chief of Minority Affairs position in Lafayette and placed Carlos Harvin there because Guillory realized there was a “gap” between minorities and government.
“I recognize that I’ve never walked in your shoes, I recognize that and as much as I empathize and sympathize even, I haven’t walked that path,” Guillory said.
While conversations were appreciated, many people want more actions and fewer words.
Kayla Guidry, a protestor, also questioned the mayor-president on why he isn’t doing more to make people of color feel they matter.
She said afterward, “His answers were really non-answers in my opinion.”