Can two people on opposite sides of the monument debate see eye to eye?

Jacqueline Quynh found two people willing to talk their issues out

NEW ORLEANS - A hug is how a conversation between two people who are on the opposite sides of the monument debate this Friday. 

But when Jonna Brewer and Charles Bonnecarre started their conversation earlier today, they had little reason to talk with each other.  But they were both willing to discuss their viewpoints.

"I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana born and raised back in 1950.  I grew up in Missouri little bitty town called Bourbon, I moved here in 1994, my ex-husband was in the military, and then I moved away at the end in 2004, and I came back in 2010."

"Robert E. Lee, everything was there back in the, 50's and I just got a lot of memories with my family, and they weren't hurting anybody back then, they still aren't hurting anybody now," Charles Bonnecare, New Orleans.

"Well my perspective people to say it's not hurting anybody.  I think a lot of people of color, they see it as a celebration of slavery.  It's the history of of African American people they see it as a celebration of their slavery," said Jonna Brewer, New Orleans.

Both believe working together has helped to move forward in the past.

"When everybody started coming together with Martin Luther King, back in the 60s, we were combining as one, and all of a sudden you got this young generation now, all of a sudden it's brought up again, race is brought back up 50 years later," said Bonnecarre.

"Racism has always been here, I think it's a lot more in the spotlight, but the time with the Civil Rights Act and all that racism didn't end then," said Brewer.

The conversation didn't end up changing their minds much, but both talked with each other respectfully and listened. 

"I can understand how this young lady feels about the statue and is disrespecting her and all the people she knows, but it's not disrespecting me, but is this a healing process we have to go through?" asked Bonnecare.

"And you have every right to maintain your memories, that's the school you went to and you have the right to maintain that, and that's okay," added Brewer.

In the end, the two said, it would be a little too boring everyone just agreed with each other, but it's now time to move on.  And that's how the conversation ended with a hug.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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