LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – A petition in Longview to remove the statue of Confederate General John Gregg is now in the hands of county commissioners. County Judge Bill Stoudt said that after hearing many opinions on the statue’s future, the commissioners would take up the matter at a later date.
The movement was started in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneappolis, followed by worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The petition was started by 18-year-old Chelsea Laury.
“There was kind of a movement starting with people getting rid of their confederate monuments, and I decided to do some research into the one we have at the Gregg County courthouse.”Chelsea Laury
Laury told the commissioners on Monday that Gregg killed American soldiers and that his statue belonged in a museum, not in front of the courthouse. Gregg, who the county is named after, led his unit in a battle from Texas to Virginia.
Others said that the statue was not built for white supremacy, but rather to honor those who lost their lives on the battlefield.
This isn’t the first time the issue has been raised. Back in 2018, 31 confederate statues, monuments, and school names were removed across Texas.
“African Americans, Black Americans were not brought to the table when they made the decision for the courthouse to be the home of the statue, but I’m hoping we can be part of the conversation moving forward,” said Nona Snoddy, a city councilmember.
A similar movement is occurring in Tyler as once again there is a push on Tyler ISD to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. A school district meeting last week brought hundreds of peaceful protestors.
Trude Lamb, a sophomore cross country runner, has received national attention for her refusal to wear her race jersey if the name is not changed. Lamb, an immigrant from Ghana, said that Lee “didn’t believe people like me were 100% human let alone ever go to my very high school.”
The board has given no indication on whether or not they will make a move on the school name. Back in 2018, a motion was taken before the board on a potential name change, but they refused to vote on it.