A petition to replace a Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Virginia, with Grammy award-winning rapper Missy Elliott has nearly reached the needed 35,000 signatures at Change.org.
The petition states that Melissa Arnette Elliot was born in Portsmouth to “humble beginnings as the only child of a power company dispatcher and a welder at Portsmouth's lauded naval shipyard.” She went on to sell 30 million records in the U.S. as Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, making her the best-selling female rapper ever, according to Billboard, and that’s without releasing an album since 2005.
The petition’s author, Nathan Coflin, applauded her success, noting she did “All this without even once owning a slave.” He says its “finally” time to honor “a true Portsmouth native hero:”
Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it? I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it. Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it. Let us come together in getting City Council to erect this statue in honor of Missy Elliott and all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day.
Ycamerpus Etihw! [“white supremacy” backward]
Missy is all of us.
Missy is everything the Confederacy was not.
According to PJ Media, the Confederate monument in the town square was built between 1876 and 1881 to honor the Portsmouth soldiers who died in combat. Mayor James Rowe has already called for the monument to be moved to a cemetery, but whether or not it will be replaced with a statue of the hometown rapper remains to be seen.
Perhaps Missy’s statue could be modeled after this pose and the following culturally rich quote carved in marble: “If you got a big [scratch], let me search it, And find out how hard I gotta work ya. Put the pussy on ya like I told ya, Go downtown and eat it like a vulture.”