LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The NAACP wants General Lee out of Lee County. In a July 4th letter, Lee County NAACP Branch President James Muwakkil asked county commissioners to remove a portrait of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee from its chambers on Second Street in Fort Myers.
"There's been no effort from county commissioners to remove that picture. That picture sits up big, high, and wide, forcing everyone to look at it," Muwakkil said.
In the letter, Muwakkil said Lee fought to preserve slavery and the continued hanging of the portrait is insulting.
"He believed African Americans should be enslaved, so he fought to preserve slavery. He did not believe African Americans should lead, have equal pay with whites, or work beside whites," Muwakkil said.
The letter further states minorities are under-represented in virtually all job levels in the county's offices. Muwakkil even accused the board of discriminating against African Americans on contract work for public projects.
The NAACP has taken issue with the portrait several times, including in 2007 it requested a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln be added to the wall next to the portrait. Commissioners denied that request.
Commissioners plan to discuss the portrait at their meeting on July 30th.