To the editor:
I am writing to express concern over the suggested movement of the Silent Sam statue to Harnett County.
The Confederates were nothing more than domestic terrorists who took up arms against the United States of America to prevent the abolition of slavery. Their terrorism was aimed to ensure the enforcement of slavery and African-American oppression.
Confederate monuments were not created in honest remembrance, but to preserve white supremacy and racial intimidation and to recast history.
They pridefully erected such blatant symbols of racism, pro-slavery, terrorism, and anti-Americanism at courthouses, universities, libraries, and other institutions where justice is essential in order to send a message of white supremacy to the African-Americans of this nation.
Americans should be ashamed to have allowed the erection of Silent Sam along with other racially oppressive Confederate statues to be put up in the first place, and then allowed to remain erected for so long. They belong in a museum with historical context and an explanation with the role they had in obscuring facts.
It is also important to note that Julius Carr, the honored speaker at the unveiling of the statue, consciously sought the permanent exclusion of the African-American from the political process. Seeking the instituting of barriers to the ballot by amending the North Carolina constitution. To quote him from one 1898 address given in Concord, “The Amendment proposes to eliminate the vote of the ignorant negro and thereby increase the dignity and power of the white man’s ballot.”
Is this what Harnett County wants to represent?
Those students were correct in tearing down Silent Sam in order to destroy hate and oppression that the statue represents. We should follow their example by stopping the spread of ignorance, white supremacy, and statues that glorify both racial domestic terrorism and the oppression of women and instead celebrate the diversity and strength of the people who live and built Harnett County into what it is today.
Ms. McDougal is 2nd vice president of the N.C. NAACP and president of the Harnett County NAACP branch.