chatham, confederate, monument
This photo of the Chatham Confederate monument outside of the county courthouse was taken in 1908 and appeared on postcards of North Carolina. This week, the statue was removed amid emotionally-charged protests. (Photo credit: UNC Libraries Commons)

Pittsboro, North Carolina Removes Chatham Confederate Monument

A Confederate monument in Pittsboro, N.C., has been removed after it stood for 112 years outside of the Chatham County courthouse.

About 50 people who both supported and opposed the removal gathered as the monument — a bronze statue of a soldier on a marble pedestal — was taken down Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, WRAL reports.

This memorial is the latest to be taken down from a public space amid debates about whether monuments celebrating the Confederacy glorify its fight for slavery during the Civil War. The county Board of Commissioners voted to remove the Chatham statue in August. Then, the Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that donated the statue in 1907, challenged the vote in court. This month, a judge ruled that the group did not provide sufficient evidence as to why the statue should remain outside of the courthouse.

Because it is technically property of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the fact that the group did not make moves to take it down right after the vote in August was considered a public trespass.

Following the Board of Commissioners’ vote, months of protests began. On Saturday, a fight broke out between pro- and anti-monument demonstrators. Eleven people were arrested.

Debates over the Chatham Confederate statue have mirrored those of similar instances throughout the South: Some people believe the monuments celebrate slavery, while others maintain they simply memorialize fallen soldiers and acknowledge southern history and heritage.

Robert Butler, a demonstrator who watched the removal Tuesday night, said it was upsetting.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Butler told WRAL. “A statue’s never hurt a soul, just like a grave memorial. Do they hurt anybody?”

But others, like Anderson Ritter, said they were glad the memorial was being removed because of what it stood for.

“It represents stuff that never really should have happened, and it kind of memorializes and makes it seem good,” Ritter told the outlet. “I and other people don’t agree with that.”

An Elon University poll that came out Wednesday found 65% of the 1,467 North Carolina residents the researchers surveyed believe Confederate monuments should remain on public government property. Throughout the country, the percentages are similar. Fifty-four percent of Americans believe these statues should stay, according to a 2017 poll. However, these results are split among racial, ideological and party lines. First, in the Elon poll, it is important to note that 70.6% of survey respondents were white, which is reflective of the state’s census demographics. Seventy-three percent of Black residents agreed the monuments should be removed. According to the poll, 67% of Democrats supported the removal of Confederate monuments on public government property.

There also is a fundamental disagreement on what the Civil War was about. Forty-four percent of respondents said they believed the Civil War was mainly about slavery, while nearly 49% said they believed it was mainly about states’ rights. Most people who said they believe the monuments should remain also saw the war as being mainly about states’ rights.

Monument supporters rallied outside of the Chatham County courthouse Wednesday afternoon, flying Confederate flags. Butler told WRAL that to him, the memorial simply honored soldiers who died.

“I know it stands for other things for other people, but for the ones that stand out here and support it, it’s for the soldiers who didn’t get to come home,” Butler told WRAL.

According to the county’s news release, the statue and pedestal will be “transported to a safe location where they will be preserved and stored” until the Winnie Davis chapter “finds a more appropriate location to place them.”

The removal of the monument cost $44,000 and will pay $300 a month to store it in a local warehouse until the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy decides where to put it.

Related Story: Tennessee Governor Makes Official Day for Confederate General and KKK Leader Nathan Bedford Forrest

Related Story: Former Police Officer Charles Anderson Says Racist Items in His Home Were Part of ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ and History Collections

Latest News

Xfinity and NBCUniversal Team Up to Bring a Free Virtual Camp Experience to the Living Rooms of Xfinity Customers

Originally posted on Today Comcast’s Xfinity is opening Camp Tonsafun, a free virtual camp hosted by counselors from the NBCUniversal family and beyond featuring activities that are tailor-made for Xfinity customers and families to enjoy at home. According to the American Camp Association, each year more than 14 million…

Latest Research Based on U.S. Payroll Data Reveals Magnitude of the Impact of COVID-19 on the Labor Market

Originally posted on ADP Research Institute® Hosts Fourth Annual State of the Labor Market Summit Featuring the Latest Research from Top Economists and Scholars, Rooted in ADP’s Unmatched, Unique Data Insights derived from ADP’s anonymized and aggregated payroll data enabled economists and academia to model the effects of COVID-19…

Syracuse University campus

News Roundup: TV Diversity, Syracuse Hire, and Segregated Training

Check out our news roundup of diversity and inclusion updates and insights from across the U.S.: Syracuse University Creates Athletics Diversity Position  While most colleges and universities around the county are making COVID-19-related cuts in regard to their athletic departments, Syracuse University has hired Salatha T. Willis as the associate athletic…

What Friends Tell Friends: Choose Kaiser Permanente

Originally published on Integrated, nonprofit health plan tops NICE Satmetrix customer experience benchmark study for 10th straight year. For the 10th year in a row, more people would recommend Kaiser Permanente to a friend or colleague than any other health plan in the nation, according to the recently released…

Mastercard Expands to the U.S. & Canada, Delivering a Search Tool That Identifies What Stores Near You Are Open for Business

Originally published on Search solution complements new Digital Acceleration for Small Business global initiative which helps small businesses advance digitally and drive online commerce As businesses seek to draw customers back both in store and online, Mastercard is introducing new tools to support them. Today, Mastercard announced the geographic…