As the shock of Chadwick Boseman‘s death fades, people have begun debating on the best way to memorialize the Black Panther star. Plans have been drawn up to place a permanent monument to the actor in his home town of Anderson, South Carolina, and TMZ has reported that, according to the Mayor’s office, “the city is enthusiastically working on a permanent public tribute to honor the late actor.” Furthermore, the memorial will be a statue combining a sculpture with mural elements that will be “suitable for a king.”
But fans think they should kill two birds with one stone. You see, Anderson is home to the Anderson County Confederate Memorial, which pays tribute to the slave-owning South and claims in its inscription that “the world shall yet decide, in truth’s clear, far-off light, that the soldiers who wore the gray, and died with Lee, were in the right.”
It’s been 118 years since the monument was erected and the world has concluded that Confederate soldiers were fighting to prop up one of the biggest atrocities in human history, so I think that particular train has left the station. Last week, fans launched a petition to shove this obsolete pile of junk into the dustbin of history (i.e. put it in a museum) and replace it with a memorial to Boseman. That plea has now hit 68K signatures and looks set to cross the 75K mark soon.
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Could this actually happen, though? Well, the mayor’s office has pointed out that they don’t have the authority to tear the monument down, explaining that The Heritage Act requires two-thirds of the state legislature to vote in support of its removal. So, perhaps the petition won’t have much sway when it comes to convincing South Carolina lawmakers.
But hey, this thing looks pretty flimsy. A couple of chains thrown around it and a truck with some decent horsepower might cut through the red tape and get the job done very quickly. Let’s hope the people of Anderson County heed the popularity of the petition and make the right call.