Petition calls for removal of Confederate soldier statue in Madisonville


MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) – Confederate monuments are back in the spotlight across the country. Communities are grappling with taking them down.

A Tri-State statue is the focus of another effort to have it removed. An online petition has been started to relocate the Confederate soldier statue in Madisonville.

It’s stood outside the old Hopkins County Courthouse since 1908. 

“There’s been a lot of different opinions of it,” says Steve Cox, who started the online petition.

“I guess with everything, the unrest, that’s right now that’s something to consider,”adds Jayne White of Madisonville.

“My opinion is if it’s history, good or bad, you cannot change it,” countered Jill Pinkston of Webster County, who said it should remain.

Cox believes it should stand somewhere else. He started an online petition calling for its removal. He got the idea this past weekend after attending protests related to the death of George Floyd.

“The energy was great, but in the background, you can still see this confederate soldier looming over the entire protest and it, it just didn’t seem right,” he recalled.

The petition calls the statue a “disgusting remnant and a message of hate”. It also suggests it be replaced with one of an American soldier from Madisonville, or someone who had a global impact more than 3,000 people signed the online petition as of Tuesday afternoon . 

“it reminds me of black people’s oppression in all that they had to deal with,” said Bill McReynolds of the African-American Coalition of Hopkins County, who was part of a separate effort to remove the statue. He says recent events around the county could cause more to revisit issues like confederate statues.

“If you’re really looking to make a better world and make your location or community better, we have to have these meetings. We have to have these talks, visit things that matter in our community,” he said.

Cox also says he plans to meet with local leaders in the near future about his petition.

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(This story was originally published on June 2, 2020)

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