Petition calls for Confederate monument to be replaced with statue of Missy Elliott

The debate over whether to take down Confederate monuments has been a hot topic across the country including in Hampton Roads.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- The debate over whether to take down Confederate monuments has been a hot topic across the country including in Hampton Roads. 

One person from Portsmouth hopes not only to take down a Confederate monument in Olde Towne, but to replace it with a statue of rapper and Portsmouth native Missy Elliott. 

Nathan Coflin started a petition on Change.org to gain support for the initiative. 

Coflin wrote: "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?" 

Since 13News Now posted it on our Facebook page, it's gotten hundreds of shares and comments, as well as making headlines nationally.

"It was done in good humor because I didn't think there was a chance," said Coflin.

A self-proclaimed history buff, he said he didn't want to see the Confederate monument go until he saw the events in Charlottesville and realized it was hurtful for many people to see.

"I do think it's a good idea. Why do we have to always have monuments of things that happened 100, 200 years ago when we can honor some more contemporary version of Portsmouth history?" he said.

Missy, also known as Melissa Arnette Elliott, was born in Portsmouth on July 1, 1971. She has appeared in several shows and movies, in addition to producing several hit records. 

By August 21, the petition had more than 23,000 supporters. The goal is 25,000. If reached, Coflin plans to present it to Portsmouth Mayor John L. Rowe and the rest of city council. 

"Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it, and reverse it," reads the petition. "Join me in getting City Council to recent this statue in honor of all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day."

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