The city of McComb is looking to remove the Confederate memorial weeks after taking down the state flag.
During a city council meeting Tuesday night, the debate began about whether the Confederate memorials should be removed.
Mayor Whitney Rawlings first stated the motion, then made a statement in favor of the motion.
Rawling then recognized Selectman Albert Eubanks.
“Mr. Mayor, the time has come for us to remove the vestiges of the past,” said Selectman Eubanks. “The time, if not now, then when is it going to be time? I understand that it is hard for people to let go of the things that they have grown up with their whole life, but sometimes we have to move forward and be progressive and I understand that these type of things hurt, but you don’t understand how it hurts a people. To have to walk past that, to have to live under that.”
“How would a Jew feel if they had to walk past a Nazi symbol every time they went to pay their water bill? Sometimes we have to make decisions as leaders that our constituents will not like,” said Eubanks.
Eubanks added that the decision to remove the state flag from all city buildings in McComb was the right decision.
However, other Selectmen in attendance had differing opinions.
“Whatever the flag or the monument represents for all sides of the argument it has no authority for what we do today or in the future,” said Selectmen at large Tommy McKenzie. “The flag or monument represents bench marks on how far we have come and a place that we will never go again. I can’t help but think that the misguided passion being displayed today is taking us backward.”
Selectman McKenzie continued.
“That flag or monument makes no apologies nor can it heal any wounds that you have,” said McKenzie. “But, it can be a reconciler. When all people stand and say with conviction it has no dominion over me, we can get past this.”
The meeting ended with a motion to table the discussion until the next meeting on September 12th where the debate will be picked up again.
Before concluding the meeting, each selectman spoke on the issue and indicated that there would be a 3-3 tie, with Mayor Rawlings voting to remove the Confederate memorial.
Listen below to the full audio from the meeting: