North Carolina

More than a dozen Confederate statues vandalized around the country so far in 2019

At least a dozen Confederate statues have been defaced around the South so far in 2019.

The vandalism and heated protests last year around the University of North Carolina’s Silent Sam statue in Chapel Hill attracted international attention, but smaller acts of vandalism and protest are more frequent.

In the years since deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in August 2017, scores of Confederate memorials have been taken down around the country, The New York Times reports. Many more have been vandalized over the past two years.

Here are some of the cases so far this year:

  • This week, police accused two people of splattering “a red paint-like substance” on the Confederate Defenders of Charleston monument in South Carolina, The State reports.
  • On Monday, someone painted “They Were Racists” and splashed red paint on a Confederate monument in Nashville, Tennessee, according to Nashville Public Radio.
  • Earlier in June someone spray painted the word “racists” on a Confederate memorial at the Texas Capitol grounds in Austin, KWKT reports.
  • A monument to Confederate soldiers in a cemetery in Bardstown, Kentucky, was vandalized in May, WLKY reports. Someone poured red paint on the statue, similar to what happened to another Confederate monument that was defaced in Louisville, Kentucky, according to the station.
  • Paint thrown on the Louisville monument in May marks the fifth time the Confederate soldier statue has been defaced in two years, according to The Louisville Courier Journal. A city commission had just voted to remove that statue, the newspaper reports.
  • In April, someone smeared what appeared to be cement on the plaque for a Confederate monument in a Durham, North Carolina, cemetery, The News and Observer reports. This was the second time the monument had been defaced, the newspaper reports.
  • In March, police said two people poured yellow paint on a Confederate statue in Salisbury, North Carolina, The Charlotte Observer reports.
  • Also in March, this time in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, someone spray painted the words “murderer” and “coward” in pink on a monument outside the Historic Rutherford County Courthouse, WZTV reports.

Statues were also vandalized in Tyler, Texas, Dallas, Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and other cities.

In one case of suspected mistaken identity, someone defaced a statue of World War II Gen. William C. Lee, not Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, in Dunn, North Carolina, CBS17 reports.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.