Unfiltered hate is jarring to hear. But that's what City Council members listened to at a committee meeting Thursday when local businesswoman Jackie Coleman read aloud a horribly racist letter she received because of her support for removing the Confederate marker on Moreau Drive.
"Your name and actions are the definition of n-----. That's all you are — one big vocal troublemaker, just an old n----- Why don't you just move and leave our nice town? I don't belong to the KKK, but you are a good example and reason why they exist" the letter writer said, among other things, using the "N" word in all caps 16 times.
All of this to a woman who has a certified state business and served 15 years on the Jefferson City School Board of Education, was a charter member of the local Boys & Girls Club and is a wonderful human being.
It's unfortunate the Confederate marker has brought forward such vile sentiments, but should it be a surprise? It is one of many markers and monuments the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected to celebrate the Lost Cause mythology about the Civil War and advance white supremacy.
Kudos to the City Council members who have worked to remove this marker which has become a cancerous tumor in our city.
To council members who say they want a win-win situation for the marker, I ask them — as a city, do we want those who support white supremacy to "win?" And to those who claim they want diversity of thought, I ask, is racism the kind of diverse thought we want in our community?
To community members who wish to keep the marker — do you want this kind of divisive object to remain in our community when it is dredging up so much hate?
Even the National Trust for Historic Preservation has recognized that although Confederate monuments are designated historic, they should be removed from public spaces because they continue to serve the purposes for which they were built — to glorify, promote and reinforce white supremacy, overtly or implicitly.
Let's renounce white supremacy and remove this marker, and then move forward to make Jefferson City a place where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome.