Curator Bobby Grenier's decision to bring a Statue of the Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith to our Lake County Historical Museum is a blatant disregard for improving race relations between the residents of Lake County. As you can see, the General fought against everything Lake County believes in, "Equality For All"!
We, the citizens of Lake County oppose the Confederate statue because:
1) General Smith has no connection to Lake County.
2) Transporting the statue to Lake County costs $10,000.
3) The transportation expenditure should be used to provide educational opportunities for children and adults about Lake County history.
4) General Edmund Kirby Smith's birthplace, St Augustine, Florida, refused to accept the statue.
5) The City of Eustis rejected the statue.
6) Since the shooting deaths of nine African American worshippers at a historic African American Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, there has been a national backlash against Confederate symbols and statues, and many are being removed or replaced.
7) The legislature voted to replace General Edmund Kirby Smith from Statuary Hall in Washington, D. C. and replace him with a bust of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Founder of Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida.
8) The MLK Commemoration Committee wholeheartedly agrees with our legislature and the Black Community. We do not want General Edmund Kirby Smith in Lake County.
9) Since there is no historical connection or beneficial significance with the statue being placed in Lake County, there is no logical reason to bring a controversial item to our county, which must be transparent and open-minded regarding issues affecting everyone in Lake County.