The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Wednesday, May 2, 2018:
It’s been almost three years since Jefferson County started talking about two controversial murals in our courthouse lobby. The murals show African-American people picking cotton and doing manual labor - offensive imagery to many. Some say it glorified the ways of the Old South.
The call to remove the murals, and other images across the country that were deemed racist, came after that mass shooting in 2015 at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The next event in the years-long saga is a lawsuit claiming that removing historic monuments is illegal. While a judge has yet to rule on that suit, the mural committee didn’t wait to come up with a solution.
Imagine just for a moment some of the conversations between that 17-member committee tasked with finding a solution to the artwork. The group of people has very different opinions of the courthouse's Jim Crow-era mural. I bet some of those conversations were heated, but despite those differing opinions, the group reached a compromise.
That’s a word we don’t hear often enough in business, in politics, in relationships: compromise. A forgotten art. I commend the committee for listening to both sides and coming up with a solution that was acceptable to both.
Now, when you visit the Jefferson County courthouse, you’ll see a black and white Lady Justice and bald eagles. These figures hover over black and white judges. There’s an American flag along with the county’s logo. Far more welcoming imagery that reflects a new South and our diversity.
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