Your DGB for today is to help replace a Confederate statue with a manatee.
Okay, okay, not a real manatee. And not just any manatee either.
If you don’t live near Bradenton, Florida, you may not have heard of Snooty the Manatee, in which case you’re missing out. Snooty was born in captivity in 1948, and lived at The South Florida Museum until July 23, 2017, when he drowned in a tragic aquarium accident. The official mascot of greater Manatee County, Florida, Snooty was adored locally, but also contributed greatly to manatee research over the course of his 69 years on Earth. He was believed to be the oldest living manatee and the only captive manatee to have regular human contact. During events held at the South Florida Museum, he would press his face to the adjoining glass aquarium wall in the courtyard, socializing with the crowds.
A few blocks away from Snooty’s lifelong home stands the Manatee County Courthouse, in front of which there is a monument to fallen confederate soldiers (to be fair, there were a LOT of those), even depicting a rebel flag at it’s base. Shortly after the news of Snooty’s passing, lifelong fan, Anthony Pusateri, began a petition to relocate the current offensive statue and replace it with one memorializing Snooty. It was delivered to the Manatee County Commission last week with nearly 13,000 signatures.
Anthony clearly isn’t alone. In fact, the Commissioner representing District Two and Bradenton, Charles Smith, has suggested Gamble Plantation as a final resting place for the statue of poor taste. (DGB was thinking the nearest dump would work, but we’ll yield to Commissioner Smith.)
Today, you’ll contact the Chairman of the Commission and urge her to proceed on the matter. Here’s a sample script:
As “The Friendly City”, Bradenton deserves to have something that makes people smile in front of the aptly-named Manatee County Courthouse. It’s time to remove the unwelcoming and divisive confederate statue and replace it with a likeness of dearly-departed, lettuce-loving Snooty.