Public weighs in on removal of Melville Fuller statue
Fuller was the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The public had a chance to weigh in today on the future of a statue outside the Augusta courthouse that some consider racist.
Earlier this year the Maine Supreme Judicial Court asked Kennebec County officials to consider removing the Melville Fuller statue.
Fuller was from Augusta.
He was the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
That decision is known for its separate but equal doctrine which allowed for segregation.
Some argued that the statue should be removed from the courthouse and placed in a museum for educational purposes.
Others say you can’t hold historical figures to contemporary standards.
”We are doing a disservice to our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren by engaging in this cancel culture and tearing down those we find objectionable whether deserved or not,” said Steve Smith, an attorney for the Fuller family.
“Walking past the Fuller statue, no African American individual coming into your courthouse can assume that yours is a house of justice,” said Michael Alpert, president of the Bangor NAACP.
Kennebec county commissioners say today’s public hearing and other public comments are critical in coming to a final decision about the statue.
They will be accepting written testimonies for the next 10 days.
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