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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose streets? Our streets.”
It began as a spirited protest about Hollywood street signs bearing the names of Confederate generals – one the founding grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.
Two of those streets go through the historically black Liberia neighborhood.
“You’re black supremacy is a piece of (expletive). You want to impose your rule over us. You want to make a new Africa here, now,” one sign supporter yelled.
That was greeted with chants of “KKK go away! KKK go away!” the opposition chanted.
It quickly went downhill – one person even waving the first Confederate flag.
Chris Cedeno with the Florida League of the South said he advocates the Confederate States of America and returning to segregation.
“I was yelling Confederate States of America. I have to remind these people where they are at. They’re in the South,” he said.
And it took another ugly turn when state Rep. Shevrin Jones said he was called a racial slur.
“He said, ‘You (expletive) (racial slur), go back to where you came from, you monkey,’” Jones said.
All of this is brewing from the call for renaming those streets.
The group said they want the streets to go back to the names they were originally going to be called – cities with large African American populations.
“These were traitors,” said Laurie Schecter, one of the co-applicants who wants the name changed. “They fought against the United States. And these men specifically lead that fight. And that fight was for state’s rights to maintain slavery. That’s not what our city is about.”
That would mean Hood would change to Macon, Forrest would be called Savannah and Lee would be known as Louisville.
Jones said after the ugliness of the protest, he’s more convinced than ever that the names of those Confederate generals need to be retired.
“No one can sit on the sidelines in this day and age when we’re dealing with injustice. Every last one of us, black, white, gay, straight, we have an obligation to get out on the field and fight for the injustices that is taking place with in our communities,” Jones said.
Eventually ballots will be sent to people living on those three streets so they can give their input.
Ultimately, it will be up to the city commission to decide if those street names will change.