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Bob Buckhorn ‘siding’ with Black Lives Matter in monument removal, says Confederate group

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two days after losing the fight to keep a Confederate monument in front of a Tampa courthouse, a group advocating to preserve the status quo is lashing out at Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman. 

On Wednesday, Hillsborough Commissioners voted 4-2 to remove the statue, called “Memoria In Aeterna,” and send it to the Brandon Family Cemetery. That decision came four weeks after the board originally voted 4-3 to keep the statue in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse, where it stood for over a century.

Revising her original vote, Murman said it was because South Tampa attorney Tom Scarritt came forward with a campaign to privately raise funds to move the statue. There would no longer be any financial obligation to the county, which was her major concern all along.

“I don’t see how anybody could not support this,” Murman said Wednesday.

Among the groups speaking Wednesday at the county commission meeting in support of moving the statue were members of the Broward County chapter of Black Lives Matter, formed two years ago to fight against violence and systemic racism toward blacks.

Noting that, and the fact that Buckhorn had joked that he could “sleep well at night knowing he had upset former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke” by wanting the monument moved, Save Southern Heritage is now attempting to link the two groups in finding fault with both the mayor and Murman.

Buckhorn’s crack about Duke was “an inventive talking point” noted Doug Guetzloe, a spokesperson for Save Southern Heritage Florida. “But its laughable to think that its ‘OK’ to disrespect American veterans just because David Duke does.”

Guetzloe said Buckhorn’s comment regarding Duke was “just providing cover for his decision to support Black Lives Matters and their blatant disrespect of American Veterans.”

“That raises an interesting contrast,” added Save Southern Heritage’s David McCallister. “If Buckhorn sides against Duke and with Black Lives Matter, then Commissioner Murman’s flip-flopping puts her right into bed with Black Lives Matter, too.”

Save Southern Heritage also made mention in their statement about the relatively slow start for the GoFundMe account being run by Scarritt to raise the private funds to move the statue.

As of 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, the fund has raised just $1,715, with $1,000 of that money coming from Scarritt.

Requests for comment from Buckhorn and Murman were not immediately returned.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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