For the second time in a month, a Confederate monument in Charlotte, N. C. has been vandalized, this time with spray paint.
The latest vandalism consisted of two messages spray-painted on the monument on North Kings Drive. On one side, the paint spelled out,”The cause for which they fought – the cause of slavery – was wrong,” while the other side listed the nine victims of the June 2015 shooting at the Emanuel AME Church, in Charleston. On July 15, vandals covered the words on the monument with patches of cement.
The monument, built in 1929 after a reunion among veterans who had fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War, reads, “Accepting the arbitrament of war, they preserved the Anglo-Saxon civilization of the South and became Master Builders in a Reunited County.”
In July, the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners met to discuss the removal of Confederate flags and monuments. Dr. Dan Morrill of the Historic Landmarks Commission told commissioners, “The monument is a product of its time” and a “surviving artifact of a major public event.” He suggested that the county apply to the Historic Landmarks Commission.
Commissioner George Dunlap defended the monuments, saying the attacks against them were fomented by the media. He asserted, “It’s a part of history. Not pleasant history but it’s a part of history. When you start messing with one person’s history, they start messing with your history. And I know that walking past that monument might be hurtful to some but it is what it is. It’s not my history but it’s history.” Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour said to remove the monuments would be “saddening to him,” adding that critics want to “whitewash and cleanse history. Rather than being a disgrace to our community, that monument can stand as a teachable moment for future generations” he said.
County Manager Dena Diorio was asked to decide whether the matter should be discussed by the board at a future date.
The same day cement was placed on the Confederate monument on North Kings Drive, a Confederate monument on E. Trade Street was defaced with the word “Racist” spray-painted on it.
In April, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed SB 22, which stated that one of its purposes was to “provide for the protection of monuments and memorials commemorating events, persons, and military service in North Carolina history.”