I think I know how to resolve the statue issue for Victorians. Perhaps we should ensure there are prominent structures in Victoria that honor and respect contributions blacks have made for our community and society at large. Oh, wait; we already have, and there are several: The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building (the old post office in Victoria); Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway (which covers Loop 463 between the Navarro Street overpass and U.S. 59 Business overpass); the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park (3808 Callis St.); and the Harold Cade Middle School (611 W. Tropical Drive), honoring Mr. Harold Cade, a well-known, gifted, and highly respected African American educator, who taught the greatest treasures of our community, our children, for more than 40 years.
Perhaps we should observe a federal holiday honoring the greatest civil rights leader of all time.
Oh, wait; we do. It is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a day we close our public schools.
Well, due to our concern about the impact the Confederate soldier statue has in Victoria, that supposedly ‘promotes’ slavery, let’s dedicate a month honoring blacks respective of their suffering through slavery, racism, discrimination, and their fight for civil rights, who, despite all of that, have made, and still make, significant contributions to America.
Oh, wait; we have.
It is Black History Month, which is celebrated every February.
Suppose we have marches and parades in Victoria to recognize the multitude of great achievements blacks continue to make in America, including service at its highest level, the presidency-two terms.
Wait; we have. It is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day annual march in January, and the annual Black History Month parade in February. These events happen every year in our community. I have participated in many of them.
Imagine if Victoria’s university and college got involved with honoring blacks.
They have. It is the annual Black History Month Poster Contest by the University of Houston-Victoria.
A child, who is not black, once created a poster recognizing me for my military service.
I was so moved I cried (sorry, I digressed).
Victoria College regularly recognizes the Juneteenth Holiday, the celebration of freedom from slavery and African American history in Texas, at its Museum of the Coastal Bend.
Listen, those of you who want to remove the Confederate statue from our community from its current location, I appreciate and even respect your concern and the others who agree with you.
Slavery was an inhumane nightmare that disenfranchised, disrespected, and dehumanized beautiful black human beings because of the evil, greed, sinful nature, and selfishness of others.
However, removing the statue will only serve to disrupt and not fine tune the wonderful harmony within our community.
I also offer this from the word of God: John 8:7 (KJV) “ So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (this was the woman caught in adultery who was brought before Jesus to be stoned). So, I say, let he who is without sin among us remove the first ‘stone’ from the Confederate statue.
I hope my remarks add new perspective on this issue for both sides of the argument.
There is always room for improvement of race relations in Victoria, but when it comes to this issue, I believe we are OK.
We should consider using the Confederate statue as a beacon from our painful past that can now serve as a stark reminder for our community to be better and to do better.