Rick Scott Removed From Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame List; Confederate Soldiers Remain
Florida officials have been working on a list of people to nominate for the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame -- a list that originally included Gov. Rick Scott and six Confederate soldiers as well as 15 others.
The list of all-white, military veteran Florida governors now does not include Scott after he asked that his name be removed, but the six Confederate soldiers remain, including one convicted of "intimidating Negroes," according to the Herald-Tribune.
The governor, a Navy man, hasn't said why he asked to be removed from the list, and apparently the 22-person list has been dropped from the agenda of Scott's Cabinet meeting next week.
There were seven Civil War veterans/governors that were on the list -- six of them Confederate soldiers and one Union soldier.
Among those is the sixth governor of Florida, Abraham K. Allison, who served six months in jail for "intimidating Negroes."
It's not clear exactly what "intimidating Negroes" means, since the only source seems to be the Florida Handbook -- which says he served six months in jail in Tallahassee for it, but apparently it's not bad enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Now it's not difficult to imagine, but some of our state's African-American legislators have a problem glorifying the Confederate army and only our veteran white governors on plaques.
"This is a good old boy list of good old boy governors," State Sen. Arthenia Joyner says in a statement. "We have Floridians of all colors who have not only earned the nation's highest military honors but some who have made the ultimate sacrifice, yet we're honoring racist governors? As the governor of the entire state, Rick Scott should be embarrassed by the recommendations."
The Hall of Fame doesn't have to be full of our former governors -- instead, the law just says it's to honor any veteran who's made a meaningful contribution to the state's history.
Maybe that's why Scott decided to part ways with the list.
The Herald-Tribune pointed out three possible candidates who could make the list a bit more diverse: Daniel "Chappie" James, the first African-American to serve as a four-star general; Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, the state's first African-American lieutenant governor, who's also a military veteran; or Josiah Walls, Florida's first black congressman.
The advancement of the list -- which is being overseen by Scott's former chief of staff, Mike Prendergast -- has been delayed, with no immediate timetable set.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.