Down With Confederate Monument, Up With Missy Elliott Statue?
If 25K petitioners have their way, yes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2017 7:32 PM CDT
Snow covers a statue on the Portsmouth Confederate Monument, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, in Portsmouth, Va.   (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Martin Smith-Rodden)
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(Newser) – The more than 25,000 people who've signed a viral online petition so far don't just want a Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Virginia, removed—they want it replaced with a monument to Missy Elliott. The idea isn't as random as it might seem; the iconic rapper hails from Portsmouth, BuzzFeed reports. Virginia resident Nathan Coflin came up with the idea to replace the Confederate statue—built in the late 1800s to memorialize the area's Confederate dead—with a statue of Elliott, and his Change.org petition soon drummed up quite a bit of attention. "Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it," Coflin writes.

Twitter got behind that idea, with users hailing the petition as "the most important petition you will ever sign," among other things. Elliott herself has weighed in, saying she's humbled by the support for the idea. Coflin, 27, tells the Washington Post, "Unfortunately history is kind of a mixed bag of bad and good. I wanna show we can honor the positivity that’s happening today in Portsmouth and I think no one better suits that than Missy Elliott." The petition will be sent to the Portsmouth City Council, along with the city's mayor and vice mayor, for consideration. Separately, the Portsmouth mayor called last week for the monument to be moved to a nearby cemetery.

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