Confederate statues have become a hot bed issue all over the country. As many people around the United States have come to believe that Confederate statues represent a dark period in history that does not deserve to be honored, others disagree. The issue has caused rallies and protests throughout the south, with violence erupting in several cases. Still... some believe it's time for change. Like this Virginia man who wants to replace a Confederate statue with a true icon. The one and only Missy Elliott.
Nathan Coflin of Portsmouth, Virginia started a Change.org petition to replace a Confederate statue in the Olde Towne area of the city with native resident Missy Elliott. Coflin explained in the petition:
We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero. Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott?
Elliott was born in Portsmouth in 1971 as Melissa Arnette Elliott. Beyond being a native of the area, why does Coflin think Elliott deserves to be commemorated with a statue? For one... I mean, she's Missy Elliott so come on.
Before she was "Missy Misdemeanor" she was Melissa Arnette Elliott, born on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Hailing from humble beginnings as the only child of a power company dispatcher and a welder at Portsmouth's lauded naval shipyard, she rose to become a platinum recording artist with over 30-million albums sold. All this without even once owning a slave.
As of Saturday morning, it seems Coflin is making some headway with his request. The petition had been signed by 1,350 people; he wants to have 1,500 before he takes it to Mayor John Rowe and members of the city council.
While he acknowledged removing the original statue would be a lot of work, Coflin thinks it's worth it. Also he chose an opportune moment to reference Elliott's hit "Work It," which was much appreciated.
I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it. Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it.
As Confederate statues are being toppled in Durham, North Carolina, Charlottesville, Virginia, and even at Duke University, the idea of replacing them with statues honoring local heroes of all kinds has merit. Rather than holding up old institutions which were built on the backs of slaves, perhaps the time has come to honor individuals, honor the independent spirit of the self-made person.
And if we have to start by honoring the one and only Missy Elliott... all the better.