JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The shooting deaths of ten people in Buffalo is hitting many people hard in Jacksonville, and Monday a local group took over the steps of city hall, demanding action against all racist actions.
The Northside Coalition and others say leaving confederate monuments on display is a sign of hate and say removing them would show Jacksonville is taking the right steps.
“We need to pray but we need to do something as well,” Pat McCollough of the Northside Coalition said. “It should not be illegal to be black.”
“It is time for us to speak out,” McCollough continued. “And Buffalo -- shameful. It is shameful for the community to suffer what they suffered and the longevity of the mental health that they will have to go through. Not only for the person who committed the crime. That’s all they talk about is HIS mental state what about our mental state? What about the community mental state as a people?”
There is much disbelief over the weekend murders, where an 18-year-old suspect admits to being a white supremist. It has many wondering about what could happen next. When News4JAX visited a predominantly black grocery store in Northwest Jacksonville, shoppers told us they don’t feel safe.
Concerns, that brought people to the city hall demonstration today. Demonstrators point to the confederate monuments.
“If you’re not advocating for the removal of symbols of racial terror in our community. like the one over there in Springfield. then you are enabling white nationalism,” Julie Delegall said. “It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.”
Some action was taken on that issue Monday. A council committee voted not to put the removal of confederate monuments on a voter referendum, which is what one council member is proposing.
It appears the council is leaning toward conducting a series of community meetings to discuss the steps, something the group at city hall supports, saying it’s a start.