America seems to be at war with the words “Black Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” and now we are seeing defacing of Queen Haley’s grave headstone with the words “White Lives Matter.” According to WBBJ Eyewitness News, Greg Cherry who is a descendant of Queen Haley, and the author Alex Haley (Roots) had this to say about the defacing “If hate is inside of you, hate will do nothing but eat you up.” It was no secret that Queen Haley was hated by a lot of people, and for reasons none other than she was bi-racial. Once people found out Queen Haley was biracial people in the community began to turn their back on her.
People in the community believe that the defacing could be from deeper rooted issues. “Heritage is one thing, but everybody’s discussed what that flag means,” resident Leroy White III was quoted saying. Recent discussion to possibly bring a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and KKK leader, to the community is just one reason. “You’ll see that flag being involved in all of those massacres, hangings, lynchings of African-American people,” White also said. Some residents fly the controversial flags. Many of them say it is part of Southern heritage. However, it is becoming more evident that something else is going on here.
Cherry like everyone else is tired of being quiet and feel that now is the time to rise up and stand strong against racism. The message is loud and clear on Queen Haley’s headstone. The family is hurt, and Cherry said, I’m hurt that someone would think only one life matters when we all matter.”
WBBJ Eyewitness News reported that Savannah Police Chief Gary Will Jr. released a statement saying, “Everyone matters, and their memory matters. There’s no justification for vandalizing anyone’s grave markers. On behalf of the city of Savannah, I want to apologize to the Haley family for the outrageous conduct of person or persons responsible, and we will do our best to find them.” Officials have no clues as to who would have committed such a crime, and say it probably will take a while to find out because there are no cameras in the cemetery. It would appear that the Savannah police department already know that they will not be finding out who vandalized the property.
So, what about the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue coming to the city, community members are hosting a meeting to address the issue? However, when the news reported the meeting, they told the exact time and location. Hopefully, the meeting will still be a peaceful gathering.