If you were to take down a Confederate statue from a local park, who would you choose to put in their place?
One Virginia man thinks that rapper Missy Elliot would be the perfect person to oust those old, stodgy generals and replace them with a more modern face.
Nathan Coflin has recently started a change.org petition that proposes the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, be replaced by a statue of Melissa Arnette Elliott, better known by her stage name of Missy “Misdemeanour” Elliott.
“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?” Asks Coflin in his petition.
Elliott was born Portsmouth, Virginia in 1971, so there’s certainly a reason the town would be proud of the wildly successful recording artist. Although, she is still alive, which flies against the norms of monument building which immortalizes famous people who are already deceased.
“Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it,” writes Coflin, quoting lyrics from Missy’s chart topping song Work It.
So far, the petition has 1809 signature and counting. Nathan plans to present the petition to the Portsmouth Mayor once it has over 2,500 signatures.
The Missy Elliott petition comes at a time when Confederate monuments are falling across the country because of their use as rallying cries for far right, white nationalist groups. The recent and now infamous Charlottesville riots originally drew these groups due to the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park. The riots left three dead, and dozens injured when violence erupted between neo-Nazi groups and counter-protesters.
Most recently, a statue of Robert Taney was removed from the Maryland State House grounds. The statue was removed in the dead of night to avoid notice and to prevent further protests from neo-Confederate groups.