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Exclusive: Councilman receives death threats over Confederate flags

By Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.

Editor & Publisher

April 25, 2009, 5:30 p.m. - An Auburn City Council member, who has been removing Confederate flags from a city-owned cemetery, says that he is receiving death threats by phone and email.

Councilman Arthur L. Dowdell Sr. provided Redding News Review with emails calling him and all blacks "monkeys" and a "nigger." Another email, threatened his home with a cross burning. 

Still, Dowdell, who removed four flags from the Pine Hill Cemetery on Thursday, said he has not contacted the Auburn Police Department about the threats.

"The police department is connected to these racist organization," he told Redding News Review.

"Our concern is that we get the FBI involved" he said. "We need a neutral party that will come in and do their jobs."

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He said that he will continue to be responsive to the needs of his black constituents who brought the flags to his attention, despite immense opposition from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The group's members say they are in the process of celebrating Confederate Memorial Day.

He said he plans to hold a news conference on Monday about legislation banning such "hate material." 

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