BROWNSVILLE — Though Rodney Brown and Anthony Castillo disagree on where the monument to Confederate president Jefferson Davis should go, the two men shook hands in a moment of respect Saturday morning at Washington Park during a protest to remove the monument from the city park.
Castillo in December initiated a petition to have the nearly 100-year-old monument from its current home in Washington Park in downtown Brownsville to a museum.
Brown, who wore a confederate baseball hat and was accompanied by his two sons, William and Michael, who donned T-shirts bearing the Confederate flag with the words “Heritage not Hate” believe the monument to Davis is an important part of Brownsville ‘s history that must be preserved and displayed.
Brown placed a Confederate flag near the monument in support to keep it at the park.
“This is a part of our history and our past, and you can’t hide history just because they don’t like it. This man did a lot for the Confederacy, for the South and for Brownsville,” Brown said.
Bruce Reiger said he believes the monument to Davis is a city treasure that should remain visible.
“We need to keep our history in a public space, you shouldn’t have to pay to go to a museum to see a part of our history,” Reiger said.
Stain Raines of Brownsville said if the monument is to stay in Washington Park, there should be additional signs that provide the missing context that explains the Confederacy’s ties to slavery.
Ohireime Eromosele said he traveled from Palmhurst to show solidarity for those in Brownsville who believe the monument should be removed.
“I don’t think any taxpayer dollars should go to memorializing a traitor to the United States and a white supremacist in public view. I don’t think we should get rid of it, I think it should be moved to a museum or a place reserved for historical artifacts,” Eromosele said.
Castillo said he plans to formally ask Brownsville city commissioners to vote to move Davis’ monument to a museum.