Time to make a stand against racism

Citizens of Marshall, I appeal to you to reflect on what the statue of a Confederate soldier in front of our courthouse signifies today. It is time now, in 2020, that we make a stand against racism. Our consciousness has evolved and today we stand against the ideas under which this statue was placed.

Erected after the 1903 lynching in Marshall, the statue was not about honoring those who fell in the Civil War. The statue was placed on the steps of our hall of justice to intimidate, to cause fear, as a reminder for Blacks to know their place. The statue might as well have been that of a KKK grand wizard. Whether or not you agree with these sentiments, acknowledge that there are those in our community that react to the statue in this manner, and ask yourself if you want to perpetrate these ideas.

I am a daughter of Marshall, born at Memorial Hospital and graduated from Marshall High School. My father worked for the post office, my mother was a nurse, my uncle owned McKay Furniture. My great grandfather fought and died for the Confederacy at the Battle of Mansfield. My forebears owned slaves.

I now feel this statue has no place in front of our courts of law. Erect in its stead a monument to our intentions of a future without racism.

Thank you for the opportunity to appeal to you, my fellow citizens, of Marshall, Texas, as we all endeavor to be the loftiest, antiracist citizens possible.

—Debra McKay