02.13.22 – TUSKEGEE
Over recent years Macon County citizens, led by former Tuskegee mayor and city councilman Johnny Ford, have attempted to cover and remove the Confederate monument in the town square. Erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1906 on a plot gifted to the UDC by a then white-controlled county government, the statue became the centerpiece of the whites-only park -- a racist, white supremacist symbol placed in the heart of one of the most historically and culturally significant African American communities in the nation.
In July 2021 Ford attempted to topple the monument with a concrete saw, cutting through a leg before being stopped by the local sheriff. It was soon repaired by the UDC.
“We cannot, in Tuskegee, Alabama, the birthplace of Rosa Parks, the home of the Tuskegee Airmen, the home of Tuskegee University, this historic city, have a Confederate statue in a park built for white people,” Ford said in a report by the AP. Yet recent legal efforts by city officials to remove the statue have stalled, particularly in light of state legislation written to protect Confederate monuments. Earlier this month the Alabama state legislature advanced a bill by senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) that would increase the fine for violating the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 from a $25,000 one-time fine to $5,000 per day.