Confederate Monuments

Protesters in downtown Graham on July 12, 2020. Among other demands, they wanted the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse removed.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters are drenched with sweat as they make the mile-and-a-half walk from Burlington to Graham on a hot July day.

These Black Lives Matter protesters are heading to the town square where they’re greeted with insults and Confederate flags from a group of mainly white counter protesters.

Led by Reverend Greg Drumwright, he advises them to ignore the counter protesters. He said it's more important to get their message out to the masses.

Lamoreaux via Flickr / https://bit.ly/3kHkXhY

The North Carolina city of Asheville is considering removing the names of slave owners and other people associated with discrimination from some streets and a park.

Gaston County commissioners voted 6-1 Monday night to move a Confederate monument that has stood in front of the courthouse since 1912.

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 9:07 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2020.

While the Confederacy lasted just a bit longer than four years, its memory has lived on for lifetimes in the form of historical markers, the names of streets, counties and towns, its flag and monuments.

Protesters calling for the removal of Confederate monument in Graham, North Carolina, face off with Confederate sympathizers on Saturday, July 11, 2020.
Jason de Bruyn / WUNC

There were tense moments in Graham over the weekend, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators came face-to-face with Confederate sympathizers.

The Old Well on the UNC- Chapel Hill campus.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A UNC Chapel Hill commission voted Friday to recommend removing the names of four prominent white supremacists from campus buildings. The resolution will go to university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees for consideration.

Scaffolding is going up around the Vance Monument as the city prepares to shroud the 75-foot obelisk in Pack Square in downtown Asheville.   

Greensboro Confederate
Rusty Long / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

A Confederate monument has been toppled in a cemetery in Greensboro.

Twelve volunteers will walk past a towering Confederate monument into the Gaston County Courthouse Tuesday to discuss whether that statue should be removed. The outcome will provide one measure of just how much perspectives are shifting on matters of race, power and history. 

Confederate monuments, memorials, and names on buildings are coming down across the South. In the last month, many of the region's long standing symbols have been stripped, from the Mississippi state flag to a statue of Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia.

Host Leoneda Inge visits the city of Quincy, Florida, after officials swiftly removed their Confederate landmark, and she speaks with Mitch Colvin, mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, about recent protests against the legacy of Confederate symbolism in his city. Leoneda also reflects on the significance of recent changes to capitalize “Black” in newsrooms.

Our thanks to WRAL for supplying some of this episode's audio.

 


Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

Line of police officers in riot gear face a line of kneeling protesters.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

Law enforcement agencies have spent at least $2.2 million responding to protests that occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

President Trump is escalating his fight with Congress over a broad bipartisan effort to rename military installations named for figures from the Confederacy, threatening to veto an annual defense bill if it includes the provision.

The Senate is debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which already includes the provision backed by most members of the Senate panel. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers is looking to add the change as part of ongoing negotiations for its version of the defense legislation.

Democratic state Rep. Deb Butler made national headlines last September when, following a surprise and controversial veto override vote, she grabbed a microphone and lit into Republican House Speaker Tim Moore.

Gerrymandering, she says, has polarized lawmakers and it's nearly paralyzed the General Assembly. She'd rather they were legislating on middle ground. 

On this episode of the Politics Podcast from WUNC, Butler talks about the hope for redistricting reform. She also reveals the pulse of Wilmington as North Carolina and the nation faces a racial reckoning. And, she explains why she reached for a little champagne last week.
 


Jay Price / WUNC

Two Civil War cannons that were at a Confederate monument in Raleigh are now at Fort Fisher.

The Wilmington Star News reports that the naval cannons arrived Sunday after they were removed with the monument they were part of on the orders of Governor Roy Cooper earlier this month after they were vandalized.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers finished most of their work for the year early Friday, setting another Medicaid overhaul date, funding a monument to honor African Americans and trying again to reopen businesses shuttered by Gov. Roy Cooper due to COVID-19.

Jackson County commissioners will discuss the future of the statue of a Confederate soldier on the old courthouse steps in Sylva next month.  

Commissioners held a meeting on Tuesday which included a conversation about “diversity and inclusion” which centered around the statue which stands on the old courthouse steps. About ten people spoke during public comment in support of the statue's removal at the afternoon meeting. 

One resident was Christina Sutton, who identified herself as an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

Jay Price / WUNC

Crews in Raleigh removed the largest remnants of a 75-foot-tall Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.

Tom Vincent / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Part of a 27-foot monument to Confederate soldiers outside a courthouse in eastern North Carolina was removed Monday after local officials gave their approval last week.

Jay Price / WUNC

Following the orders of Governor Roy Cooper, work crews on Saturday and Sunday removed three Confederate monuments outside the state capitol in Raleigh. This came after protesters toppled two nearby statues Friday night.

A statue on the ground with yellow caution tape and a cone on it.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down parts of a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth.

North Carolina lawmakers this week approved a plan to provide teachers with a one-time bonus. Meanwhile temperature checks at the General Assembly building were halted — albeit briefly — as the capital city moved to require masks to curb COVID-19. And a group of lawyers sent a letter to the governor and legislative leaders arguing Confederate monuments violate the state constitution. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss those developments, and two major rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court.


Silent Sam on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus is a controversial Confederate symbol.
Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 60 lawyers in North Carolina have signed onto a letter urging legislative leaders and Governor Roy Cooper to remove Confederate monuments immediately.

In a narrow 4-3 party line vote Tuesday night, Buncombe County commissioners approved a resolution to remove two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville.  The decision came one week after Asheville City council approved the same resolution unanimously.

Matt Bush/Blue Ridge Public Radio

On Tuesday evening the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on the future of two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville: a Robert E. Lee memorial in Pack Square and a monument honoring fallen Confederate soldiers outside the Buncombe County Courthouse. 
 

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

After weeks of unrest over police brutality and systemic racism, North Carolina lawmakers turned attention back to two pieces of legislation: One would ease expungement of criminal records, another would let judges avoid some sentencing mandates. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation talk about how significant these bills are, and where they come down on the idea of renaming military bases named for Confederate generals. 

Also, did they feel any relief with the announcement this week that the RNC is officially heading to Jacksonville, Florida for President Trump's renomination?


By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Asheville city council approved a resolution that calls for the removal of two Confederate monuments, while creating a group to decide the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square.  The Buncombe County board of commissioners will also vote on the resolution at its next meeting this coming Monday.

Richard Phillips / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

Rocky Mount has approved the removal of a Confederate statue that has stood for more than a century.

Richard Phillips / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The Rocky Mount City Council has voted to remove a Confederate monument from a city park.

The 6-1 vote during Tuesday night's budget meeting was prompted by Councilman Andre Knight during a discussion about renovations in Battle Park, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported.

UNC student De'lvyion Drew and her attorney Elizabeth Haddix celebrate after a judge voided the UNC System's settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 12, 2020.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 6:45 p.m.

A judge has voided the UNC System’s $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Silent Sam statue. District Court Judge Allen Baddour heard arguments this morning from attorneys for the UNC System, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, students and alumni.

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