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A commissioner’s surprising Confederate memorial tweets

A Confederate memorial, erected in 1929, in Mecklenburg County.
A Confederate memorial, erected in 1929, in Mecklenburg County. OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

About 10 people stood before the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night to talk about a small, 86-year-old Confederate memorial between the Grady Cole Center and Memorial Stadium.

Their thoughts were much like many we’ve heard in the wake of the Charleston shootings last month. As the Observer’s Jonathan McFadden reports, some argued that the county should remove the memorial because it is a divisive symbol of racism and white surpremacy. Some argued that it should be left alone as part of our history.

District 6 commissioner Bill James had his own opinion, and his own story, which he tweeted from the meeting.

So what does James think of the Mecklenburg memorial?

He’s right. As we wrote in this space last week, memorials like Mecklenburg’s are essentially outdoor artifacts – museum pieces that passively display our history and our mistakes. Government shouldn’t celebrate those mistakes, as it has done for so long with the Confederate flag. But it should be careful about erasing the evidence.

The commission decided not to take any action on the monument.

Peter St. Onge

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