The Political Agitator’s response: This is a great move and should be done everywhere. Time to put these monuments where they belong.
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PITTSBORO, N.C. — After months of often heated debate, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners decided Monday that a Confederate monument that has stood outside the county courthouse for more than a century must go.
Commissioners had been negotiating with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which donated the statue to the county in 1907, in recent months to re-purpose it as a monument to all veterans. But the UDC backed out of the talks two weeks ago, so commissioners voted 4-1 to give the group an Nov. 1 deadline to come up with plan for the statue’s future.
After that, the commissioners said, they will consider the statue as trespassing on public property and make their own plans to remove it.
The vote was met by angry shouts from a handful of people in the crowd – one man called commissioners “traitors” – and a few people had to be forcibly removed from the meeting room. (Read more)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Confederate monument on the property of the old Forsyth County Courthouse in downtown Winston-Salem was removed Tuesday.
Mayor Allen Joines said the city will foot the bill for the statue’s removal and relocation to Salem Cemetery. He said he has not spoken to UDC members recently about the removal, but said this is the best compromise between the two parties.
City leaders said the monument is a safety hazard, and that it could lead to violence or more vandalism. They ruled the monument was a “public nuisance,” giving the city the authority to move it without filing a legal notice.
“We’d been working with the Daughters for over 16 months, basically, making the offer and laying out what we think is a very good solution to them and I think we continue to be concerned about the potential for violence that occurs there. The last act of vandalism which wrote on there, ‘Cowards and traitors’ was obviously done to perhaps incite one side or the other so we are just concerned that that might happen again and might really lead to violence so we feel like we should move forward as quickly as we can,” Joines said earlier this winter.
“I’m very pleased that both sides of this issue have remained calm and we’ve urged that, basically. We’ve reached a solution that recognized the strong feelings on both sides of the issue and we’ve arrived at a solution, in my opinion, that’s one that addresses those feelings in the best way possible,” Joines said.
Joines said he thinks the cemetery is the most appropriate place for the statue. (Read more)
The Gate Keeper’s response: Wow! This is going to be interesting to see how this unfold.
Silent Sam is gone from UNC-Chapel Hill, but protests are planned for Saturday afternoon where the Confederate statue once stood on campus.
A group called Heirs to the Confederacy said on Facebook it will raise a Confederate flag where the controversial statue perched on its pedestal for more than a century until protesters tore it down in August. The protest is set to begin at noon, and the group said it will raise Confederate flags elsewhere on campus and throughout Chapel Hill.
Two other groups, Take Action Chapel Hill and Defend UNC, created a Facebook event called “Racists out of UNC: Rally, Pledge Drive, Re-contextualization.”
UNC-Chapel Hill issued a statement Friday saying officials know about the dueling protests. (Read more)
The Gate Keeper’s response: But why the focus can’t be put on both?
In a region inundated with debates over Confederate monuments, Black History Month invites us to refocus our attention to a largely unrecognized section of Durham known as the Geer Cemetery. Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Duke Park neighborhood, the 142-year old cemetery is slowly succumbing to the encroaching forest. More than 1,500 black people are buried there. Those everyday black men and women lived and worked and died in this place long before we arrived. Their labor built much of the world in which we now move. Many of them had no choice. Some were enslaved. Others were poor black people who worked segregated jobs during Jim Crow. All of them deserve to be remembered, and their final resting place deserves better than its current state of neglect.
Our landscape is filled with the names of elite white families. Members of these elite white families fought, even killed, to ensure that white and black remain separated and stratified. As we remember their contributions, let us also acknowledge that they perpetuated slavery and Jim Crow. They used the lives of human beings, both black and white, to build their wealth. And when that fortune was earned, a lot of people in those families simply packed up and moved away. Yet, we unflinchingly celebrate the landscape of statues and named-buildings they left in their wake. Today, some people argue that we must maintain those monuments; and that we must forgive the now-unthinkable historical white supremacy of our region’s forebears because of everything else they gave us. To do otherwise, we hear, would be to erase history, or to make elite white families disappear. (Read more)
UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt, in a surprise announcement late Monday afternoon, said that she will resign after graduation this spring.
In a statement, Folt also said she had ordered the removal of the pedestal that held the Silent Sam Confederate monument.
“As chancellor, the safety of the UNC-Chapel Hill community is my clear, unequivocal and non-negotiable responsibility,” she wrote. “The presence of the remaining parts of the monument on campus poses a continuing threat both to the personal safety and well-being of our community and to our ability to provide a stable, productive educational environment. No one learns at their best when they feel unsafe.” (Read more)