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Residents Urge North Carolina To Keep Confederate Statues

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

A majority of North Carolina residents at a committee meeting Wednesday urged North Carolina to keep Confederate statues located by its capitol.

Residents largely opposed North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposal to move the statues from Raleigh to a battlefield site in Bentonville when they addressed a five-member committee from the state’s Historical Commission, The Associated Press reported.

When a society begins moving statues, “the question must be asked: where does it stop? What is the criteria for doing that?” former North Carolina registrar Boyd Cathey asked.

“I can’t believe we’ve got a governor [who] would even consider that,” Willow Spring resident Dennis Johnson said. “It’s not just wrong. It’s against the law.”

A 2015 North Carolina law prohibits permanent removal of Confederate statues on public property but does allow for their temporary or permanent relocation with the Historical Commission’s approval.

The heavily supported Raleigh statues include one dedicated to Henry Lawson Wyatt — the first Confederate soldier to die in battle — another dedicated more generally to fallen Confederate soldiers, and a third commemorating Confederate women. Cooper tasked the Historical Commission with deciding whether to enact his proposal to move the statues from Raleigh to Bentonville.

Confederate statues “are relics of another time,” one dissenter, Robersonville resident Emily Keel, said. “What we display now to the public should be our current principles and aspirations of North Carolina citizens.”

“The reality is slavery was wrong,” former U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton’s daughter, Joanne Clayton, said. “The Confederates were traitors. And we have statues to traitors that need to be removed.”

Durham, North Carolina, was the site of a 2017 toppling of a Confederate statue. Suspects had all felony charges dropped in that crime. (RELATED: Accused Confederate Monument Topplers Get All Felony Charges Dropped)

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, of which the Historical Commission is a division, for comment but received none in time for press.

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