Paducah City Commissioner Richard Abraham read a statement at Tuesday’s commission meeting that the tearing down of Confederate monuments will not fix issues facing the black community.
Abraham said he recently had a conversation with a group of African Americans concerning the “temperature of our country” and said the statues distract from other issues.
“Tearing down a statue that should serve as encouragement and motivation as to how far we have come as a nation will not fix one single thing,” Abraham said.
Abraham said the murder and abortion rates among African Americans - and modern day slavery in countries like India and Gambia - can only be solved through “personal responsibility.” He said correcting moral issues requires more than marching and taking down statues.
"We can not legislate morality," he said. "There will always be racists. There will always be people who don't like each other even if they look the same."
Abraham said he will not take part in allowing Paducah to be “held hostage” by the “political flavor of the day.” He said the rest of the country can make their own decisions.
There are multiple online petitions on whether to keep or take down a Paducah statue honoring Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman.