Local demands Confederate statue on the Square be relocated amid campus statue debate

Posted on Mar 5 2019 - 5:50am by Hadley Hitson

Effie Burt, notable Oxford musician and member of the progressive group Wise Women, called for Lafayette County at Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to move the Confederate monument from outside the courthouse to the Confederate cemetery on the Ole Miss campus.

“When I see the statue and the Confederate flag, I think about the hurt and the pain and the fear,” Burt said. “If people wanted to preserve the Southern history associated with the Confederate flag and statue, then why haven’t they fought to keep them from the hands of those who use it to symbolize hate and oppression?”

Oxford local Effie Burt speaks out and asks the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors to move the Confederate statue that stands in front of the courthouse on the Square to the Confederate cemetery on the Ole Miss campus. File photo by Billy Schuerman

Burt said her appeal to the board was in direct response to the neo-Confederate rally that occured in Oxford and on the university campus on Feb. 23.

“I see unity in Oxford, Mississippi,” Burt said. “I see a city that’s making a change for the better, and because of this, I am hoping that the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors would take a safety measure to prevent danger and more cost to the taxpayers in the future by relocating the Confederate statue.”

The county now requires that an application for use be turned in at least 30 days in advance, whereas it previously only called for a five-day notice. The updated policy also demands that the groups gathering pay for any additional law enforcement that the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department determines necessary.

Jeff Busby, the president of the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors, said neither he nor the other board members could respond to the request for statue relocation until they had the opportunity to further discuss the topic.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s office sent the board an opinion in October 2017 stating that the board has the legal right to move the statue from courthouse grounds, provided it remains in the county and on public property.

The board also voted to update the county’s facility use policy in response to the pro-Confederate groups who gathered on the Square in late February.