RICHMOND, Va. — The Monument Avenue Commission has put forth a recommendation to replace the Stonewall Jackson statue with an effigy of actor Samuel L. Jackson.
The commission was appointed by Mayor Levar Stoney in response to the increasingly fervent debate about whether or not the city should allow monuments to Confederate soldiers to remain. This move is expected to win broad support from former Blockbuster Video employees and people who just hate racism.
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Samuel L. Jackson was selected from a pool of other famous Jacksons including Bo Jackson, Alan Jackson, La Toya Jackson, and Peter Jackson.
“We thought it was a good compromise to still have someone named Jackson as the statue,” commission member Leo Holman said. “We think it says, ‘we’re cool and progressive, but we also respect our heritage.’ Frankly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson, so we thought it was a natural choice.”
What has proven more difficult is determining the design of the proposed statue. The commission is embroiled in an ongoing debate over which Jackson character best represents the spirit of Richmond. The commission originally intended to base the statue on the actor’s character in Coach Carter, an eponymous basketball film which contains a scene where people chat “Rich, what? Richmond.” However, the committee rejected that decision after learning the setting of the film is actually Richmond, California.
Citing continued difficulty with reaching a consensus, the commission has opened the decision to a public comment period with the hope that local citizens can come up with a permanent solution.
“Citizens have suggested a number of spectacular Jackson roles including Russell Franklin from ‘Deep Blue Sea,’ Arnold of ‘Jurassic Park,’ Shaft, and Neville Flynn from ‘Snakes on a Plane,’ among others,” Holman said.
Holman indicated the majority of suggestions have been well received by the commission.
However, they were horrified by former Richmond Braves relief pitcher John Rocker, who proposed a statue of Jackson’s Pulp Fiction character with a plaque bearing the words “English motherfucker. Do you speak it?”
The commission will collect public comments through the end of the month. The final statue design will remain a secret until a grand unveiling ceremony planned for December when the actor turns 70.
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