BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A Bentonville woman dressed as Harriet Tubman took to the Square on Sunday in protest of the county’s Confederate statue.
Sheree Miller started her protest at 6 a.m. on Sunday and said she intends to remain there until the same time on Monday to raise awareness for efforts to move the Confederate Memorial Statue located at the center of the Bentonville Square.
A leading member of the ‘Shame of Arkansas’ Facebook group, Miller, a former DHS employee, and juvenile officer, said the monument has been “a sore spot for me for the 25 years I’ve lived here.”
“It was put here in 1908 by the Daughters of the Confederacy as a red flag for people of color to know that the Confederacy is still alive and well in Benton County,” said Miller.
She hopes the county will eventually choose to relocate the monument to someplace “more appropriate.”
“This is a Mecca now with Crystal Bridges, Walmart, and countless businesses and visitors from around the world,” said Miller. “And this is representative of how Benton County is. It needs to be in an appropriate place, and that’s not in our town square.”
Benton County Judge Barry Moehring told KNWA in August that there is a “tremendous amount of public sentiment that treats that statue as a historical statue, that it represents a piece of history, that it represents a piece of Bentonville’s lineage and history.”
“In the terms of the responses I get in my office and what I see, there’s a tremendous amount of support for the keeping the statue because of its historical significance to the city and the county.”BENTON COUNTY JUDGE BARRY MOEHRING
Miller says she’s spoken to the judge about the possibility of receiving grant money to relocate the monument and suggested a contest for young artists to design a statue to replace it.