North Carolina Commission Votes to Keep Confederate Statues on Capitol Grounds
A North Carolina historical commission voted Wednesday to keep three Confederate monuments on state Capitol grounds, the Associated Press reports. The decision came just two days after protesters tore down “Silent Sam,” another Confederate-era statue at the University of North Carolina.
In a 10-1 decision, the commission determined that information about slavery and civil rights should be added to the statues to provide context. It also urged the state to add a monument dedicated to North Carolina’s black citizens to Capitol grounds.
Last year, among a wave of movements to remove various Confederate statues, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper requested that the monuments to be moved to a Civil War battlefield for their protection. The historical commission denied this request with their Wednesday vote.
The statues in question are the Capitol Confederate Monument, the Henry Lawson Wyatt Monument, and the North Carolina Confederacy Monument. Each were dedicated decades after the end of the Civil War.
Whether or not to remove Confederate monuments scattered throughout the South has become a topic of hot debate in recent years. Some argue the statues represent white supremacy, while others say they’re a reminder of the nation’s past.
The issue reached a climax in August of last year, when a man drove his car through counter-protesters of a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman. The rally and ensuing protests were regarding a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.