(Orange, Texas)

April 2, 2013

VIDEO: Town Hall meeting asks Orange to wake up

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — The Confederate flag is what the citizens find distasteful.

The second town hall meeting, held 7 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church Life Center located at 106 W Park Ave. in Orange expressed the opposition approximately 100 residents of Orange feel towards the Confederate Flag Memorial  being erected near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Jackie Mayfield, NCAAP president of Orange, said he will not stop fighting if the memorial goes up.

Mayfield also said the he does not want to tear the town apart in the process.

“Violence leads to more violence,” Mayfield said. “Citizens must protest against the flag, not a monument, but the flag and what it means.”

Mayfield also said it is important to know our history and articulate it in an intelligent fashion.

Several members of the panel said the location of the memorial with the flag was distasteful and disrespectful.

Carolyn McCall, one of the panel, said it was an injustice to the citizens.

“Our options are few,” McCall said, “But it is not over until God says it is over.”

City of Orange Councilmember Annette Pernell said the meeting should have been standing room only.

“Orange needs to stop sleeping,” Pernell said. “ We need standing room only to win this battle.”

Pastor Larry Anderson of Kingdom Fellowship Tabernacle said it is important to maintain moral character and their Christian beliefs.

Mayfield said he has spoken to leaders within the community and they do not want national attention brought to the issue.

“It will bring a stigmatism,” Mayfield said. “We are trying to stop this from becoming a circus affair.”

Reverend Franklyn Gans said currently the issue was in-house but things could change.

The City of Orange knew of the memorial since 2011, according to Pernell.

Texas Division Commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans Granvel Block purchased the land for the purpose of erecting a memorial.

City of Orange Council members told residents Block provided building plans and met all minimum standards of ordinance when applying for the permit during a council meeting in February.

Mayfield said the city needs to denounce the flag and racism.

“If not,” Mayfield said. “Then I have a problem.”

Members of the audience suggested protesting at a church believed to be the one Block attends. The women who made the suggestion left shortly afterward making the suggestion.

Demetrius Moffett, pastor of The First Church of God - Orange, said they could not protest a church.

“What is the first thing we say about church?” Moffett asked. “Come as you are.”