Activists praise racial diversity in Confederate removal protests

Activists praise racial diversity in Confederate removal protests

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A mother said her son's grave was vandalized with a Confederate flag after she attended a meeting about the removal of Memphis' Confederate monuments.

"I went to Elmwood Cemetery to visit my son's grave, and there was a Confederate statue in there, in my son's grave," Gayle Rose said.

Rose said the vandalism didn't scare her off her moral position. Instead, it fueled her activism.

Rose is a community leader who has supported the removal of the Confederate monuments for more than 16 years.

Rose is a white woman. She said she's noticed more racial diversity when it comes to local and national protests for the removal of Confederate monuments. She said that is because more people are realizing they can't idly standby by while others suffer.

"When you look out at the activists there I think it's incumbent on people that look like me that are part of the establishment part of the white power structure and not be silent," Rose said.

National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Freeman said seeing inclusive groups standing up for what is right is a necessary factor for change.

"We're so beyond saying, 'Well that's a black thing; that's a white thing.' That's a people thing," Freeman said. "What we are seeing is people saying, 'We support this removal, and we're going to get out here.'"

Rose said change can sometimes bring conflict, but she said that conflict is worth doing the right thing.

"Let's not be afraid of the tension and the upheaval, because that is part of what is necessary to bring about the changes that are needed," Rose said.

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