Most people are familiar with the deadly Unite The Right rally one year ago in Charlottesville, VA. That deadly protest started over the proposed removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
Several days before that incident, I had phoned the office of Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC). I spoke at length with a woman in his office (Hannah) about how perplexed I was by the existence of these monuments since moving to Raleigh, NC over 8 years ago. She advised me to email the Governor, which I did. On the Monday following the death of Heather Heyer at the hands of an attacker marching with White Nationalists, who drove his car into a crowd, striking and killing her, I sent an email and phoned the Governor again.
Hannah explained to me that day that the Governor had not made a statement yet. Two hours later, he did. He announced that he felt the Confederate monuments at the State Capitol should be moved off the Capitol grounds and placed in a museum.
This past Monday, August 20, 2018, protestors gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and toppled the Confederate memorial known as Silent Sam. Two days later, the North Carolina Historical Commission ruled that the Confederate monuments shall remain where they are on the State Capitol grounds.
The controversy about these statues and monuments may appear to be a recent event, but nothing could be farther from the truth. They have been controversial, and the impetus behind them a cause for bloodshed ever since they were erected during a period between 1895 - 1915 known as the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Scholars conclude that this was a period after Reconstruction in which history was being rewritten.
Coming soon.....an investigative report on the local Confederate monument controversy, the politics of the recent NC Historical Commission review, how race has always played an important role in North Carolina politics, and current partisan divide in Raleigh.