As the nation reckons with the aftermath of Charlottesville and the renewed public debate around the removal of Confederate statues, one petition is suggesting replacing a Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Virginia with one of arguably one of the most important women in music: rapper and icon Missy Elliott.
The Change.org petition, titled "Replace the Confederate Monument in Portsmouth with statue of Missy Elliott," suggests just that. Right now, Portsmouth is home to a monument dedicated to 655 unspecific Confederate soldiers who died in the area around the town. But as petition creator Nathan Coflin puts it:
"We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero. Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott?"
Coflin makes a good point; after all, she sold over 30 million records "without even once owning a slave. And he caps his plea, directed at town mayor John L. Rowe, with a rousing call to action:
"Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it? I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it. Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it.
Let us come together in getting City Council to erect this statue in honor of Missy Elliott and all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day. Ycamerpus Etihw!
Missy is all of us.
Missy is everything the Confederacy was not."
As of now, the petition has over 20,000 signatures, and it "only" needs to get to 25,000 to be delivered. As for a statue inscription? There's perhaps only one real option: "Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup I."