For the third time in four years, the East Feliciana Parish Police Jury voted not to remove a confederate statue outside of the parish courthouse.
Tensions were high as members of the jury discussed the issue. Some residents say keeping it was in the best interest of the community.
“I think it’s very historical and it should remain there,” Beth Dawson said. “I wish [those who want the statue removed] would think about the fact that we had black confederates and [the statue is] for them too not just the white confederates. All the confederates did not have slaves.”
Others say it’s a reminder of a racist and oppressive past.
“We’re in the year 2020 not in the year of 1867 or any other year, this is a time of change, this is a time of moving forward and I don’t know if they’re getting ready to come to terms with the time that we are in,” Tristan George said.
The 30 foot statue has been in front of the courthouse since 1909. Jury President Louis Kent says he’s confident this won’t be the last time the topic is up for debate.
“America has changed the times and it’s going to come to East Feliciana Parish, it’s going to be time for it to be removed,” Kent said.
Residents say they hope this issue doesnt continue to divide the parish.
“I hope we can come back together like we’ve been all these other years before this came up,” Dawson said.
“We’re a very small close knit community but this statue has divided us,” Kent said.
Kent says one day he hopes the statue will be removed and possibly put in this confederate cemetery.