In 1903 a Confederate Monument was erected in Florence, AL to commemorate the “Anglo Saxon” race that was said to be socially superior to Blacks who were called “mongrels.” You have followed the journey to add a monument of Dred Scott to add context to the false narrative of the “Lost Cause.” Today, Project Say Something leads the charge to relocate the monument to a cemetery, Soldier’s Rest.
Rev. Wesley Thompson is one of the warriors that stands strong in the process to relocate the statue, our Stepping Stone for this issue. – Victorine
TURN THE WATER OFF
Being a native of Florence, I’ve spent more time at the Lauderdale County Courthouse the past 4 weeks than any other time combined in my 31 years of living. In these 4 weeks, I’ve protested against racial hate. I’ve spoken in support of relocating a confederate monument whose origin is tied to racial intimidation. I’ve listened to diverse voices shout “Take It Down” and “Black Lives Matter”. I’ve reflected on the travesty that is one’s history of pain, being dismissed for another’s history of pride. I’ve prayed for minds/hearts to become open toward clear empathetic understanding.
I’ve also observed a great contradiction in our courthouse’s front yard. Directly across from the 17-ton confederate monument, I observed a beautiful water fountain. One hot day as I stood in-between it and the monument, a soothe summer’s breeze carried some of its cooling droplets onto my skin. However, that invigorating relief was quickly undermined by an ironic revelation that spoke to me saying, “TURN THE WATER OFF!”
As famously quoted by Dr. King, Amos 5:24 says, “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Israel’s governmental and societal systems had created an oppressive environment toward a segment of its people. God challenged the nation to do the right thing by letting justice roll/flow like water.
As long as a symbol of injustice sits right in front of a place that should represent fair justice for all, that beautiful water fountain is deceiving. For justice to truly flow, the Lauderdale County Commission must do what’s right by relocating the monument. All who have the lawful/political power must do what’s right by relocating the monument. Until then, TURN THE WATER OFF!
REV. WESLEY THOMPSON
Pastor of Bethel Colbert Missionary Baptist Church