Via Campus Reform:
A black lawmaker in Florida filed a bill that would bar the removal of Confederate monuments in the Sunshine State. Such statues and other memorials have come under attack on American college campuses during recent years.
Republican state Rep. Mike Hill proposed the “Soldiers’ and Heroes’ Monuments and Memorials Protection Act” to ensure the preservation of “remembrances” constructed on public property from Mar. 22, 1822 and onward, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Such memorials “may only be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated or otherwise disturbed if necessary to accommodate construction, repair, or improvements to the remembrance or to the surrounding property,” according to the bill. While governments have bypassed similar laws by selling land on which Confederate memorials are located and permitting the new owner to remove them, Hill’s bill stipulates that sale of public property containing a memorial must result in the memorial occupying a position of “equal prominence.”
The move came just months after Florida State University quietly removed a statue of former Tallahassee Mayor Francis Eppes, a supporter of the Confederacy, under the cover of darkness. FSU spokesman Dennis Schnittker told the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper that the statue had been relocated to temporary storage.
Should the bill become state law, it’s unclear what, if any, impact it could have on the Eppes statue. Hill did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication. It’s unclear how many confederate statues and memorials currently stand on Florida public college campuses.
“It will not change any person’s life today by tearing down a Confederate monument or tearing down a statue or tearing down a cross,” Hill said to the Miami New Times more recently. “It will not change any person’s life by doing that. What it will do is prevent someone from learning the history of why it was there in the first place.”