COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. – – A Collierville man is demanding a Confederate monument be removed from the town’s square.
It’s a Civil War battle marker and it was placed in the square by the United Daughters of the Confederacy decades ago. It was there when Dillard’s grandparents moved to Collierville in the 1940’s.
“When I look at this monument that is in a public space I find it offensive. I find it to be insensitive,” said Linwood Dillard, one of dozens of people who have protested the monument in recent months.
“Here I am today still a citizen of Collierville and yet having to grapple with institutionalized and maybe covert racism.”
Like others have done, Dillard recently took his concerns to the town’s mayor and board of aldermen. He asked that they move the marker from a public space to another location.
The Town of Collierville says it needs permission from the state to remove the marker. The town also says that the board of aldermen is discussing the possibility of asking for that permission but nothing definitive has been decided.
“It’s heartbreaking that some of the elected officials have not shown progressive leadership,” Dillard said.
The issue got heated in September when protesters and counter-protesters clashed in the square. One man was arrested for assault while supporters of the monument told WREG that it’s simply part of history.
“We learned from their mistakes and if that mistake is sitting there and I say oh look, we made a mistake, you can learn from it,” one man said.
“I think that is an insensitive cop out if you will,” Dillard said, “Should we understand that story? I think we can do that without it being in a public square.”
The monument was also vandalized in October but many protesters denounced that act. They say they want the monument moved but not damaged or destroyed.