Oxford NC Confederate Monument Under Attack
From: "northcarolinasouth", firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: July 9, 2009
The Henderson (NC) Daily Dispatch reports below that "civil rights" activists are demanding the removal of a Confederate monument from the library grounds in Oxford NC. The monument was moved from the Granville County courthouse to the library in 1971 as a compromise in the wake of the Oxford race riot. However, as South Carolina has learned, no compromise on Confederate symbols will satisfy "civil rights" activists.
The complete article follows. Contact the Granville County Commissioners and let them know that these "activists" don't represent the values of the community:
- James W. Lumpkins, Chair, email@example.com
- Hubert L. Gooch, Jr., Vice-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ronald R. Alligood, email@example.com
- W.E. "Pete" Averette, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tony W. Cozart, email@example.com
- R. David Currin, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zelodis Jay, email@example.com
DEBATE OVER OXFORD'S CONFEDERATE MONUMENT GOES ON
By William F. West
OXFORD; The continuing presence of the Confederate monument near the entrance to the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford continues to be a subject of debate.
During Monday evening's Granville County Commission meeting, Hope Taylor said the statue depicting the likeness of the rebel soldier is a memorial to the combatants on one side of the Civil War. Taylor, of the Stem area and an environmental activist, spoke as a private citizen.
"I know some of this may seem like an effort to raise old passions, but in fact I'm here to advocate for us not being held hostage to old passions, but instead to be able to think about how far Granville County has come and about its future," Taylor said.
"To honor the sacrifices of only the Confederate dead is to deny the values that almost all of us in Granville County now embrace," Taylor said, adding that the library should be a celebration of all that is based on a commitment to knowledge and shared peaceful engagement.
"When placed at the library, this isn't just a cultural statement that honors sacrifice," Taylor said of the monument. "It's a tacit statement that the sacrifices of the Confederate combatants and the values of the Confederacy are something that all of Granville County embraces."
Taylor noted last week being the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and said she learned about participants later being able to meet, shake hands and treat each other as brothers. The largest combined reunion of Civil War veterans ever held was in 1913 at Gettysburg.
Taylor went on to say that she and other opponents of the monument being on the Thornton Library grounds believe the County Commission's decision "has been driven primarily by fiscal realities of this difficult economic time" and said there is a discussion of alternatives that could be celebratory of the values of the library, including with grant funds.
Voters in November overwhelmingly backed an $8 million bond issue to improve the library system countywide. The Thornton Library dates back to 1963 and is at the corner of Main and Spring streets.
In May, civil rights activist and former Oxford City Commissioner Eddie McCoy began taking issue with an architectural rendering showing the monument would remain in place at the site of an expanded and upgraded Thornton. The monument was erected in 1909 in the intersection of Main and Williamsboro streets and was moved to the library grounds in 1971.
The County Commission, in a June 15 unanimous vote, approved backing the plans for Thornton. The vote was led by Commissioner Tony Cozart, who is black and who at the time said "we should not allow ourselves to be drug into an argument over a monument to those long dead."
William O'Quinn, of Durham and commander of the N.C. Capitol Brigade of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), on Monday evening told the commission: "We have a problem in this country right now of history being rewritten, not remembered. Moving this statue is just going to enlarge that problem."
O'Quinn wanted to know what would be moved next, noting there are those offended by the U.S. military having dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in the end of World War II.
Robert Garcia, of Cornwall, a hospital worker and a Vietnam War veteran, told the commission that while he does not believe history has to be rewritten, if there is going to be a modern library, then there needs to be a modern statue.
And Garcia said that, if there is going to be a monument honoring the Civil War dead, then monument needs to be in a cemetery, "not in the public place where people are going to go in to get some intelligent information and look toward the future, rather than the past."
Terry Bryant, of Nash County and SCV statewide heritage officer, told the commission that, "There's been more slaves brought in under the stars and stripes, but there were none brought in under the stars and bars of the Confederate flag."
"The monument needs to stay where it's at. Other people need to learn the truth about it, the facts that were involved in the war. It was mainly taxes and states' rights," Bryant said.
Earlier in Monday evening's meeting, McCoy continued to call for the County Commission to say who owns the monument.
And McCoy said the answer does not need to come from Creedmoor resident Mildred Goss, who is saying the monument was presented to the county by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Details about her research have been printed in the Oxford Public Ledger newspaper.
Goss on Monday evening said the newspaper left out information. "The monument cost $3,000 in 1909. To replace that monument today with the materials that the monument is made out of would cost $1,327,791.62," Goss told the commission.
"We have one of the most valuable pieces of property in the county in that monument," Goss added.
Angel Marzano, who is white, told the commission African-Americans know who put the monument there and know what the monument is meant to say.
Marzano argued that, in the early 1900s, the UDC was one of the largest white supremacist organizations in the country.
And Marzano said she believes the real revisionist history came from pieces "written by people to romanticize the Civil War and what it comes from."
The commissioners did not say anything in response to the statements from both sides, which were made in the public hearing phase of Monday evening's meeting.