FROM STAFF REPORTS

Chairman James Mallory left no room for misunderstanding as he opened the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting: “The Iredell County Board of Commissioners is not moving the Confederate monument.”

That statement — and similar comments made by Mallory on March 6 during an Iredell County Republican Convention session — were taken by some on Tuesday night to be a reversal of a 4-1 commission vote two weeks ago in support of a resolution to begin the process of moving the statue.

Mallory said that the March 2 vote was simply a commitment to work with the statue’s apparent owner, the Daughters of the Confederacy, if they were open to moving the monument. That group has rejected the idea, meaning the statue will remain, Mallory said.

Several speakers during Tuesday’s meeting voiced disappointment that Mallory indicated the monument will not be moved.

“When you make a vote — you stick to that vote and you do right. The conversation you and I had, Mr. Mallory, was that this was going to be moved. I believe your word is your bond, and you have to represent more than one race of people,” said Statesville City Council member Doris Allison, who noted she was speaking as a “citizen and Black woman.”

“(The monument) has caused great anguish to people of color in our community. Do we want a significant part of our community to endure the pain of walking past this monument?” asked Rev. Steve Shoemaker.

Others voiced anger toward the commissioners — Mallory, Melissa Neader, Gene Houpe and Marvin Norman — who voted in support of the resolution, which was opposed only by Scottie Brown.

“These people (anti-monument protesters) have done nothing but start trouble in this town, and what you’ve done, playing both sides, is only going to make it worse. We want some honesty and stability,” said Tommy Hamel. “We’re tired of being told we’re racist because we’re white and we’re carrying a Confederate flag. No more cancel culture, no more Black Lives Matter.”

Buddy Hemric told commissioners that the history of the statue is important enough to support leaving it where it is. “That statue represents nearly 600 men of Iredell County that lost their lives,” he said.

Following the public comments, Commissioner Houpe said he wanted to clarify the March 2 vote. When the Daughters of the Confederacy indicated they were not open to moving the monument, it made the March 2 resolution “dormant,” Houpe said. “(The resolution) was not a unilateral motion to move the statue. It was not. … There’s been no flip-flopping,” he added.

Mallory also spoke after the comments, noting that it appears the county never accepted ownership of the monument and saying that state statutes are very narrow in what the county can do regarding its location.

“If the Daughters of the Confederacy owns the monument, which we believe they do, if they wanted to move the statue then our resolution was to facilitate that process,” Since the group does not agree, he added, “that means that there’s no mutual agreement and monument remains exactly where it is.”

12 thoughts on “Iredell commissioners: Confederate monument will not be moved

  1. Obviously a flip flop. Where does Neader stand? Never heard a word out of her. I thought she was supposed to be the common sense voice.

  2. John kindley says:

    Whose idea was this in the first place? Are we to believe the removal was prompted by the sons and daughters of the Confederates? I don’t think so. Mr. Mallory questions the ownership of the memorial. Real Estate 101 would say when you attach something in concrete to real property it becomes a fixture and fixtures become part of the real property.

  3. Ross Warren says:

    Well, at the very least it needs to be PROPERLY repaired by someone with good knowledge of how to do so on such old monuments such that it is not further damaged. If the Daughters of the Confederacy own it they should do a fundraiser to get that done.

    The monument’s history needs to be made known. That it is in memory of those nearly 600 men who died fighting against the illegal invaders from the North, protecting these lands and people. It does not celebrate slavery at all. Anyone who has been told that the Civil War was fought over slavery has been lied to and miseducated.

    Look it up for yourselves or watch Ken Burns’ video series on it. Slavery wasn’t even an issue until well into the 15th month of the war when Lincoln and the North thought that offering freedom to slaves in the South would foment unrest behind enemy lines.

    Lincoln was shamed into creating the Emancipation Proclamation by abolitionist newspaper articles, some of the most forceful written by former Northern slave Frederick Douglass.

    Even though Northern states had voted by 1804 to end slavery, did you know that there were 451,021 slaves counted in the 1860 census in states and territories that would make up the Union during the Civil War? Twenty years earlier, in the 1840 census, there were 355,777 slaves counted and in 1850, 415,510. When you look at the census data, New England is the only region where slavery ended rather quickly. In other areas of the north and west, slavery continued until right up to the Civil War.

    In many ways it wasn’t that the north was so “enlightened”, it was due to the industrial revolution that slavery wasn’t badly needed in the north, so they were able to abolish it quicker than the less industrialized, agrarian South.

    If the Civil War had not occurred it can at least be thought that slavery would have eventually ended in the South within another 60 to 80 years as machines took the place of human labor.

    It should be remembered that the institution of slavery existed for over 150 years in what was to become America, and it existed far longer under the flag of the U.S. than it did under the C.S.A.

    This statue represents men who fought bravely and died in the cause of defending these lands. And that is ALL it should stand for. Let no group use it to perpetuate racism. These men deserve to be remembered. That is its true history.

  4. Douglas Reed says:

    This is a slap in the face of the people that built this country. This and other monuments should be removed from main streets and put in museums for people that want to see it can do so. It’s a painful reminder of how racist people are still among us.

    • Douglas, you sir need a history lesson because your teachers indoctrinated you with lies. You need to read actual facts about the Civil War because once you stop watching CNN and enjoying the “woke” bs, you will realize that the morons known as the media and politicians are basically in bed together telling you what they want you to hear so that this nation will stay divided. The easiest way to conquer something is to cause division. I don’t hate you for who you are or what you believe. I ain’t never disliked someone because of who they are; it’s whether or not you are nice to me face to face or typing. If you’re nice to me, I return the graciousness. If you’re not, I return the attitude given to me. I’m not saying that the Confederate part of anything is right, but I’ll tell you that the Civil War wasn’t over slavery like CNN keeps telling you. That monument represents 600 men who like the guys who went to Vietnam fought for freedom. They fought for their rights — those men are my brothers as a veteran and removing that monument would be the same as removing my grandfather’s headstone somewhere, which would take a lot more than just you and your little army to handle.

      • Margaret McNeely says:

        They fought for rich men’s rights and because they were conscripted. I lost at least 6 great-great-great uncles in this awful war. It should not be glorified.

  5. Robert Campbell says:

    This is very disappointing. The “ownership” argument by Mallory is totally an excuse and an invalid one at that. The county can always remove items from their land. It’s clearly a step backward in race relations and humanity. A cowardly act to rescind the previous vote on this excuse. They would be better off saying we love the confederacy and stand behind this monument than trying to rely on this excuse.

    • I don’t understand how a private group can place a monument on public land and then refuse to remove it when requested by elected leaders of the county. I guess this means any group can do the same thing? This is a very “slippery slope”…

  6. Toni Rene' Shuford says:

    Removing statues won’t remove our history. We need to learn from our past not erase it. How is it the statue wasn’t a problem in the past? Seems to me some folks just won’t let “racism” die. None of us were part of this time in our history. Why can’t we just say “ This was a bad time in our history. Look how far we’ve come” and keep building on our progress instead of keeping the wound open.

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