Pictured above is the only statue of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward believed to exist in a public space in Broward County.  It welcomes visitors to the North Wing of the central Broward County Courthouse, where all felony/prison cases are handled. Judges and the state attorney here have supplied the Florida prison system with roughly 7,231 of its current residents, and thousands upon thousands more throughout the years who have since been released or died. Perversely, given the wildly disproportionate rates of incarceration doled out to blacks throughout Florida and the nation, inmates or their family members all must pass the cryptic visage of the county’s namesake, who famously advocated as Florida’s governor for the transportation and permanent banishment of all black United States citizens from their homes and nation, some forty years after the Civil War ended.

(click photos to enlarge)

(Above Napoleon Broward speech text found at the UF Archive Series 4 – Speeches and Writings 1905-1908 and n.d. … )

Just another day in Broward felony courts …

(Who Said That?/Miami Herald: 1972)

There’s no need to rehash here the ongoing national dialogues concerning racism in the criminal justice system, or the display of Confederate statues, symbols, and naming rights. But given the current prominence of the debates, years after these issues were first broached on JAABLOG, isn’t it about time courthouse stakeholders Jack Tuter, Mike Satz, Howard Finkelstein, Scott Israel, and Brenda Forman agree to transport Napoleon Broward’s statue as far away from the courthouse as possible?

We’ll be emailing and calling them next week to see.  Let’s hope they don’t pass the buck to the County Commission …