Owensboro Unites at Peace Rally, Calls for Statue to Come Down

Black and white, rich and poor, old and young, all have something in common by choosing to love instead of hate.

A crowd in North Carolina toppled a confederate monument Monday night, while a crowd in Owensboro called for the end of a local 115-year-old statue.

Some call it a symbol of hate but others say it’s part of history. Either way, rallies across the country unite groups from diverse backgrounds with a message of peace.

America the beautiful has its scars and Owensboro shows some wounds are hard to heal.

“It’s something very passionate to me,” says Mae Hagan, an organizer with the Daviess County Democratic Party. “I’m sick of these things occurring,” she says, pausing to wipe away tears.

An evening at Smothers Park overlooking the quiet Ohio River is a platform for more than 100 people to spread their message. Many hold colorful signs with messages of “Love Not Hate.”

“We’ve seen in Charlottesville this past week, it’s really woken people up to sort of the ugliness that exists in our culture,” Samantha Howell says.

What happened over the weekend is almost unbelievable to Janie Robinson. “I think it almost shocks us,” she says. “We think everybody loves each other for a while, and that's what we want.”

Believe it or not, she and many others now see symbols of hate; a sign that things need to change.

Howell wonders how. “There’s not an answer, as long as you have people willing to hurt other people you can't stop it,” she says.

That’s why many call for the end of the symbols they believe breeds hatred. Most at Owensboro’s rally are asking for the Confederate monument at the courthouse to come down.

“It is a nasty part of our history,” Hagan says.

The Owensboro NAACP voted to start a petition asking for the monument to be taken away. They plan to get other groups involved in the petition and hope to give it to county leaders once they have signatures.

Daviess Co. Judge-Executive, Al Mattingly says the statue is part of the past and there’s no intention to remove it.

“We have to keep having these conversations,” Hagan adds, “I know they’re uncomfortable to have, but unless we have them things can't move forward and we need to move forward.”


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