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2-Minute Charlotte: County’s Confederate monument defaced again

tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

2-Minute Charlotte gets you caught up on the day’s most important local news before your coffee has a chance to cool down. Today’s edition: 314 words. Expected reading time: 1 minute, 34 seconds.

A Confederate monument on Mecklenburg County public property has been defaced once again. This time it was spray painted with the names of people who were killed in Charleston, along with a message: “The cause for which they fought – the cause of slavery – was wrong.” The county says it will again pay a few hundred dollars to have it professionally cleaned and then put it back.

THE BACK STORY: This Confederate monument by Memorial Stadium was erected in 1929 for a big reunion of Confederate veterans, and it praises soldiers who fought to preserve the “Anglo-Saxon civilization of the South.” The marker resurfaced in local public debate as the killings in Charleston brought Confederate iconography back in the national consciousness. County commissioners, who now have authority over the memorial, had a big debate in July about what to do with it – and they were split. Some wanted to leave it alone, some wanted to take it down, and some wanted to use some other sort of marker to explain it. They ended up punting on a decision. Vigilantes first took the matter in their own hands and defaced it with liquid cement a few weeks ago.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Mecklenburg County commissioners seemed to be content with leaving the monument be and waiting for everything to blow over. These defacings are proof that Charlotte’s not willing to let it go.

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