Peggy Hubbard, a black Navy veteran and conservative Republican who doesn’t want to see the St. Louis Confederate monument removed from Forest Park has been inundated with hate and threats for her position.
Hubbard has been outspoken about black-on-black crime and has raised over $7,000 through her GoFundMe campaign for her Stand Up For America rally this Saturday.
The 103-year-old granite monument — which had recently been hit with graffiti for the second time since last week — attracted a few dozen activists, and a flimsy metal barrier at its base failed to stop protesters with Black Lives Matter signs from clambering onto the structure and lounging against the bronze figures depicting a Confederate family sending a youth off to war.
Those demanding the monument’s removal outnumbered its supporters, but that imbalance didn’t deter Peggy Hubbard from asking the demonstrators to respect the memorial.
The Saturday rally “is not a protest,” Hubbard tells Riverfront Times. In a Facebook video posted over the weekend, she asked attendees to “unite under one flag” — the American one.
Confederate soldiers “might not have been on the same side,” she says, “but they were still somebody’s father, somebody’s son, somebody’s husband.” She doesn’t want to see St. Louis go the route of New Orleans, which recently removed four statues of Confederate leaders.
“If we start removing vestiges of slavery and racial divisions, then this whole country would be flat.”
Hubbard says the Saturday rally is intended to foster unity, not shouting matches. Security guards will be on site, and she says St. Louis police officers will be nearby as well.
“I am not defending the Civil War,” Hubbard says. “I am defending the history which it was fought over. This statue represents slavery, but it also represents the freedom that was gained for us. You have to look at on both sides of the fence.”
Among the few public supporters of the monument was Bill Hannegan, who lives near the monument, just outside Forest Park. Hannegan showed up early Tuesday afternoon with a large yellow sign taking aim at the mayor.
The sign read: “ISIS destroys statues too, Mayor Krewson.”
Later that evening, as a downcast Hubbard and Hannegan looked on, protesters stomped the sign into the grass.
Hubbard also spoke to KMOV TV 4 and said, “It saddens me, but I see it more as ignorance than hate. These were Americans, these are soldiers and they have a right to be remembered like everyone else…They ask if I am even black…But it’s not about my color, it’s about three colors, red, white and blue.”
She stated on her Facebook page on Wednesday that when she spoke with some of the BLM and ANTIFA movement members, she was mocked and insulted.
Hubbard said, “I was surrounded by the BLM and ANTIFA, they called me a n*gger and coon…they were just as bad as the people they say enslaved us. So…how, are they different? They’re not….”
Also on Wednesday, Hubbard made it clear that the event is only about the Confederate monument nevertheless, someone went after her and passed around an edited photo as they wanted to bring Confederate flags in which she asked not to bring for safety purposes.
In 2015, the former Democrat made international headlines for her stance against the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The rally is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Forest Park in St. Louis City, Missouri.
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