JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — A history teacher in Jacksonville invited members of the city council to join him at a nearby confederate graveyard to “piss on their graves together.” Alex Ingram, a public school teacher at Sandalwood High School, delivered the statement at a city council meeting on September 13.
Ingram’s remarks stemmed from his desire to see the city council remove all confederate statues and monuments. Like many historic cities in America, particularly those in southern states, Jacksonville residents disagree on the importance of preserving confederate monuments. Weeks after the death of George Floyd in 2020, Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican, removed one of the city’s most prominent confederate statues in the middle of the night without public input or notice. In the two years since, the debate of whether or not additional monuments should come down has dominated the public comment portions of city council meetings.
“I traced my heritage and, many generations ago, my family fought in the confederacy,” Ingram told the council. “I would openly welcome you to their mass grave where we can piss on it together, because I do not care about them at all. They’re traitors.”
Ingram’s comments prompted chastisement from City Council President Terrance Freeman.
“What you can do, sir, is tone it down just a little bit with the comment on the graves,” Freeman said. “You can keep talking, but the comment on the grave was not appreciated.”
When Ingram asked Freeman to clarify which comment, and accused the council of not taking his complaint seriously, the council president responded. “It was your choice of words, not the sentiment of what you wanted to say.”
“The other night I got called a groomer and a pedophile in a school board meeting,” Ingram said in response to Freeman’s critique of his comments. “I’m going to reclaim my time, thank you.”
Moments later, Freeman asked to cut the microphone and called for the next speaker.
“Sir, you are disrupting the decorum of this meeting and if you choose not to remove, per our counsel rules, I will have the sergeant-at-arms remove you. It is your choice,” Freeman said.
Eventually, Freeman ordered the sergeant-at-arms to remove Ingram.
INGRAM’S OTHER ACTIVISM
Ingram is commonly featured by the local media for his activism. After a meeting for the Democratic Socialists of Jacksonville in 2020, he suggested a partial defunding of police in order to support affordable housing. Last year, Ingram spoke out against the state’s decision to ban Critical Race Theory from schools, accusing Governor DeSantis and then-education commissioner Richard Corcoran of intimidation.
Earlier this year, he was quoted in a Politico article highlighting LGBTQ advocates who protested the Parental Rights in Education bill preventing teachers from teaching children under 10 years old about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Additionally, last week’s city council meeting was not the first time Ingram referenced a local graveyard to support his message. In July 2020, he participated in a protest outside Jacksonville’s Evergreen Cemetery. Ingram told Action News Jax that the demonstration was meant to underscore “what could happen if students and teachers return to school too soon.”
Watch the video below: