FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The president of a Florida NAACP chapter says a white supremacist rally in Virginia has prompted him to resume efforts to remove Confederate monuments.
James Muwakkil leads the NAACP chapter in Lee County, which is named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The chapter's 2015 efforts to change Lee's portrait in county commission chambers were unsuccessful.
The News-Press reported that Muwakkil placed an American flag at a statue of Lee in Fort Myers on Saturday and said he would approach city and county officials about removing both monuments.
Fort Myers Councilwoman Teresa Watkins Brown said Lee is part of history, but she is "not always proud of what happened in our history."
David McCallister, Florida Division Chief of Heritage Operations for the Sons of Confederate Soldiers, said the Lee County NAACP was exploiting the turmoil in Charlottesville, Virginia.