LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- After Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting ended, a large number of protesters were outside the courthouse calling for Harry Sanders to resign from the board.
As the meeting went on, protesters were hoping to hear the news that Sanders would step down as a supervisor.
When that didn’t happen, they began chanting and calling for his resignation.
The signs were simple, but yet powerful reading, “justice and equality for all,” and “Harry must go.”
“I do understand all of the other supervisors, I understand that they are not going to be able to get any work done,” said Steve Ellis, who wants to see Sanders resign. “They are not going to be able to get work done with him at the table knowing what he has said.”
“There’s not an apology for this, he has to go,” said Russell Brandon, one of the many protesters outside the courthouse.
Brandon said he felt compelled to speak out and join in the fight after multiple encounters with racism from past experiences.
“I didn’t do things sooner,” he expressed. “I tolerated this sort of disgusting racism for too long. I spent too much time at Thanksgivings putting off that racist uncle, just saying oh he’s dumb or whatever, nothing is going to happen. This is what happens as a consequence of that.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Sanders did resign as board president, a position he’s held for nearly two decades.
However, many believe that’s not good enough.
They want him to step down from the board altogether.
Many in Lowndes County believe his presence on the board is continuing to plague the community.
“With him staying on the board, it’s just going to be divided and the community is still going to be divided,” said Lavonne Harris, president of the Lowndes County chapter of the NAACP. “It’s not just the community, it’s economic development. Who’s going to want to bring something here? Nobody. Everybody is going to look at, why should we. We still got somebody racist sitting on the board.”
Sanders’ term expires in 2024, but many have expressed they can’t wait that long.
They want him gone now, and protesters made a vow to continue advocating for his resignation until it happens.
“We have people here participating to bring forth justice, this is when we have to have,” said Ezra Baker, who was a part of Tuesday’s protest.
“Hopefully he will go to bed and think about it again and decide to do what’s best for the county,” said Ellis.
“I don’t think this county can continue moving forward, I do not think any county can move forward with someone like him on their board,” said Brandon. “I hope that anyone who’s watching this right now, I hope you know that if you think the same thing that Harry Sanders does, you’re wrong.”
“Harry, please resign, go on to the house,” said Harris.
Several protesters, along with the Lowndes County Chapter of the NAACP, are planning for another peaceful protest outside the courthouse for the board’s next meeting which is scheduled for Monday.
They will again be calling for the resignation of Harry Sanders.