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"Hate And Bigotry Have No Place in Paducah" Says City Commission

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

The Paducah Board of Commissioners issued a statement on Wednesday condemning racial hatred and violence in the wake of events in Charlottesville, Virginia

The statement says “hate and bigotry have no place in Paducah” and vows to protect the rights of citizens no matter the skin color.

While the statement acknowledges strong emotions from local residents, and nods to recent statements by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it doesn’t specifically mention the online petition that now has more than 1,100 signatures calling for the removal of the Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman statue and the renaming of the high school named after his wife

It also doesn’t mention the counter online petition calling to keep the statue in place.

Both petitions have a stated goal of delivery to Mayor Brandi Harless.

The statement calls for unity and says the city will be “proactive to do the uncomfortable work of having honest dialogue about our own history, biases, and challenges.”

The Charlottesville rally was to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The incident has sparked conversations and actions over similar statues and monuments across the nation

Full Statement:

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have left people across the country - and in our own city - heartbroken, angry, and fearful.

The Paducah City Commission stands against racial hatred and violence in all its forms.  Hate and bigotry have no place in Paducah, and we owe a sacred duty to protect the rights of every citizen, no matter the color of their skin.

We want to add our voices to our elected representatives at every level including our own United States Senator Mitch McConnell.

Our belief is that the strongest nation is a unified nation, and that democracy works best when we are united.

In Paducah, we will be proactive and do the uncomfortable work of having honest dialogue about our own history, biases, and challenges.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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