KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County legislature Monday voted to put the future of the two Andrew Jackson statues in front of the county’s courthouses on the November ballot.
In response, some claim elected representatives are not doing their jobs.
Supporters argued that the statues belong to the people of Jackson County. Legislators voted 7 to 2 to allow voters to determine what should happen to the public tributes to America’s seventh president.
“If at that time the voters choose to remove the statue, I will have a committee assigned by the following legislative meeting to determine what to do with the statue at that time,” said Legislative Chair Theresa Cass Galvin, a sponsor of the referendum.
A proposal that would have allocated money for county executive Frank White to take down the statues immediately, failed to pass, prompting White to criticize elected leaders for avoiding tough decisions.
“I really believe this is truly a body that doesn’t want to do what it’s been elected to do,” White said. “They don’t want to have criticism from the public. And when that comes, you want to push this off on the public.”
Legislator Jalen Anderson called the tributes to Jackson a stain on government, and claims Native American groups are afraid to speak out for their removal because of threats they’ve received.
“I have never in my life, in my life as a black man, had so many threats,” Anderson said. “I’ve had so many people say, excuse me for this but it has to be said: ‘Only a coon would vote to remove that statue. Only an ignorant n-word would remove that statue.'”
If removed, legislators seem to agree that the statues should not be destroyed, but displayed where their history can be explained properly.