Owensboro NAACP, local affiliates host conversational event about Confederate statue

Owensboro NAACP, local affiliates host conversational event about Confederate statue

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The Owensboro NAACP and its affiliates have invited the community to have a conversation and learn about the history behind the placement of the Confederate statue on the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse.

NAACP President Rhondalyn Randolph tells 14 News there are some people in the community who fear this will erase part of Owensboro’s history.

However, Randolph is hoping Thursday’s presentation will allow them to realize they don’t want to erase history, but instead not repeat history’s mistakes and move forward.

The event is happening right now on the Kentucky Wesleyan College front lawn.

In the 1900s, the Confederate statue that currently sits on the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse was gifted to Owensboro by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, but the NAACP and its affiliates are once again calling for the statue’s removal.

“It‘s not going to be erased,” Owensboro NAACP President Rhondalyn Randolph said. “It is still going to be a part of Owensboro history because if you forget your history or erase history, you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The proposal is to not completely get rid of the statue, but instead move it to the Owensboro Museum of Science and History for educational purposes.

”Giving educational, historical facts and just to give that education back to the community, so they have a better understanding of what the historical reference is and facts are behind many things that are embedded behind our societal construct,” Naheed Murtaza, representative of the Higher Education Equity Coalition said.

Members of the Owensboro community came on Thursday evening to learn about the history of the statue - some agreeing for the removal, and others not.

“They’re trying to bring up all this old stuff,” one Owensboro resident said. “They get going with these narratives for political reasons and it hurts my soul.”

“It’s just realizing that there are other people out here, and that this hurts them on a physical and systemic level,” Owensboro native Eric Henning said. “And if we are ever going to move forward as civilization and as a community, we need to do so with the entire scope of our people in mind.”

The NAACP president says Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly is supposed to issue a press release on Monday, possibly with the decision of what to do with the statue.

Randolph says the museum has already said they’re willing to bring it in for educational purposes.

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