HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Paul Douglas has been fighting for change his entire life.
In the 1960’s he participated in a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. He protested during the freedom rides of the ’60s, his mother and stepfather were married in Rosa Parks home and now he is the President of the Hernando County NAACP still fighting for change.
Douglas participated in a peaceful march in Brooksville to express outrage over the death of George Floyd.
Old symbols of the south were there as Douglas marched with a new generation of protestors along with counter-protesters carrying confederate flags were in Brooksville. They claimed they were there to protect local businesses from looters.
In the town square, next to the old county courthouse, a Confederate statue stood silently over them all. The statue was placed in Brooksville by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916.
“The only thing that’s changed is me,” said Douglas about the flags and the statute that he doesn’t believe belongs on public property. “I’m going to get rid of that statue, even if I have to take em to court.”
The Hernando County Commission discussed removing the statue in 2017. Instead of voting to remove it, the commission approved a $6,000 fence to protect it.
Douglas says the commission isn’t likely to change their decision.
“We’ve got no females on the board anymore, no black folks have never been on the board. Everything is controlled by the white establishment here, everything,” said Douglas.
Douglas says the time for talk of removal is over, he plans to take legal action to have it taken down.
“I wanted to let them know, I’m done with talking to you. If I have to take em to court, I’ll take you to court,” said Douglas.