New push to stop statue of Confederate General from coming to Florida county

There is a renewed call to stop the arrival of a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith to Lake County.

“Why would we want to bring this in in a climate like this one where we see folks are sick and tired of mistreated?” Friendship CME Pastor Mike Watkins told FOX 35 Orlando. “We’re tired of that.”

Since the death of George Floyd, protesters in other states are also pushing to get confederate statues removed. For example, Virginia's governor announced this week that he plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. 

Pastor Mike Watkins has been one of the main people speaking out against the statue.

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“Stop telling us you love us and stop telling us you want to help us and you’re still going forward bringing a racist symbol with that statue,” Pastor Watkins said. “It just doesn’t make sense and all over America people are removing them.” 

FOX 35 News contacted the director of the Lake County Historical Museum to see if he plans to stop the statue from coming to Lake County. While he did not want to speak on camera, he told us that the statue will still be coming because it belongs in a museum so it can be preserved.

“You can’t ignore the fact that people all over the country are saying we’ve got to stop this stuff and then you want to bring (a statue) in and say we’re doing it out of love and we’re doing it for history,” Pastor Watkins said. “It’s just not believable.”

The arrival of the statue has been delayed because of coronavirus. The museum director said he doesn’t know when it will be coming.

Tune in to FOX 35 News for the latest Central Florida news.