Amid controversy surrounding Civil War reminders, a Missy Elliott fan is asking representatives to replace a Confederate monument in Virginia with a statue of the beloved rapper.
A supporter named Nathan Coflin wrote out his argument in a statement through Change.org. “We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero,” he wrote. “Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott?”
Coflin went on to list many of Elliott’s achievements, noting her ascent to prominence from her humble beginnings. “She rose to become a platinum recording artist with over 30-million albums sold,” he added. “All this without even once owning a slave.”
Finally, Coflin added some Missy lyrics to top off the petition. “Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it?” he wrote. “I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it. Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it.”
At press time, the petition has been signed by 14,170 supporters.
The debate over Confederate monuments intensified this month after the tragic white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, where neo-Nazis, skinheads, and members of the Ku Klux Klan met to protest the taking down of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in the college town. Counterprotesters also gathered there in opposition of the white supremacists.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the issue via Twitter, seemingly siding with those who protested the statue’s removal. “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he wrote. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old white woman, died while protesting against the white supremacists in Charlottesville and her mother Susan Bro later said she “will not” speak to President Trump after his comments about the rally, which left three dead and many more injured.
“I’m not talking to the president now, I’m sorry, after what he said about my child,” she told ABC News. “It’s not that I saw somebody else’s tweets about him, I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters … with the KKK and the white supremacists. You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m not forgiving for that.”
Bro continued by highlighting the race-related issue at hand. “I’m honestly a little embarrassed to say that part of the reason Heather got so much attention is because she’s white, and she stood up for black people. Isn’t that a shame? That a white person standing up for a black person caused all this excitement? That should be an everyday thing, that should be a norm.”