Flag Burning Planned to Protest Hernando County’s “Racist History”
BROOKSVILLE – If you thought Hernando County was going avoid getting caught up in the national controversy over the Confederate flag – think again. A Tampa Bay area activist group, led by Bettejo Passalaqua, has plans to burn a Confederate flag on the courthouse steps this Saturday, and some local residents are not too happy with the idea.
The event posted on Facebook called Brooksville Burn the Confederate Flag announces plans to burn the flag at 11:00 am tomorrow morning, in protest of what organizers say is “Hernando County’s long history of racism, oppression, lynchings and other atrocities against the African American community.”
They also claim that Brooksville was called the Lynching capitol of Florida and only second to Mississippi in number of lynchings across the United States, during the Civil War.
Organizers even attack county government officials by saying they wanted remind citizens of the “…Racist mindset of the “good old boys” who run this county.”
Local War Veteran Activist, Deb Howard, is angry over the protest and says “If the flag offends you, then you need a history lesson.” Howard, says “I’m not going to stand down!” and plans to be there tomorrow, along with many others who oppose the demonstration. Howard recently organized a massive restoration project to help save Brooksville’s African American Civil War Cemetery and dares anyone to call her racist.
Ashley Walker says “It’s a flag… It’s part of our history and southern heritage, so why is it such a problem now?
Tina Andracke Henize said in a recent RNRF facebook thread “It’s all about racism. The Old South was all about slavery. The heritage some love surrounding that flag is all about slavery and white supremacy.”
President Barack Obama even commented on the Confederate flag today, while delivering a eulogy for those who died in the South Carolina Church Massacre. He said “We have to admit that the flag represents more than ancestral history…” he goes on to say “By taking down that flag we express God’s grace…”
Passalaqua is a member of Occupy Tampa and the International Woman’s Peace Service IWPS, a group that believes Palestinian women and children are being slaughtered by Israeli soldiers in an organized genocidal campaign.
Brooksville Police Chief George Turner says he has an operational plan in place to keep the peace.
RNRF will be on the steps of the Brooksville courthouse tomorrow to bring you coverage of this highly controversial event.
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