By Charles Davis III
Saturday August 26th 2017, the streets of downtown Pensacola were filled with opposing sides and viewpoints. At 8:30 am one group supporting their confederate heritage, another group supporting white nationalism and yet another opposing confederate heritage and white nationalism. Tempers began to flare as people began to state their opinions and protest the confederate monument that had been in Pensacola for decades. Flyers displaying reading materials supporting each group were passed out among all the protestors. Situations became violent when a young woman was approached by a white nationalist who knocked the blow horn from her hands and attempted to start an altercation. Fortunately, the City of Pensacola police department were present to stop the altercation before it became physical. The young man starting the altercation was arrested and had charges brought against him. After speaking with several people about their opinions of the rally, several were willing to share their true opinion with The Gulf Coast Voice.
Dr. P. Jonathan Porterfield, Senior Pastor of The Cathedral of His Love, stated “I feel that this rally should have been an eye opener to the African American community in Pensacola. It allowed the people of this community the opportunity to come together beyond racial, color, and even religious barriers.”
Kelli Green, a fellow protestor for peace, stated “Yes, I think it affects us when we become aware. I think the Black community should be alarmed and angered by the fact that there are people who may live right next door to them who are operating out of hate, bigotry, and prejudice. I think the rally affects our community by putting our hearts in remembrance of the terrible atrocities we as a people have had to endure, and then even more so by reopening those wounds again.”
This rally proved to be very emotionally charged proving that we, as a progressive society, may have made a lot of successful strides in the past but still have a lot of growing to do. The official meeting to determine the removal of the monument will be held September 14th at City Hall.