Was the announcement of the Confederate statue being moved a Band-Aid?
By Fran Farrer
STATESVILLE, NC – For more than 10 years Black residents of Statesville have asked officials to remove the Confederate statue that sits in the middle of downtown on the lawn of a municipal building as a constant reminder of years of prejudice treatment to residents.
Treatment that includes higher mortgage rates while knowing if they work on the same job as Caucasians their take home pay was less, and often if their credit scores were higher, their payments were higher. In legal matters that called for imprisonment, until about 8-10 years ago, there were never jurors of their peers.
The battle did not just begin. At least 3 of the 4 past NAACP presidents have requested the statue be removed; Woody Woodard, Skip McCall, and Rev. Reginald Keitt. Finally, under the leadership of now president, Todd Scott assisted by the NC NAACP Legal Regress Council, legal steps came into play.
According to Scott, on 2 March 2021 the Iredell County Commissioners voted 4-1 for the removal of the Confederate Statue. Then on the 6th of March while at the Iredell Republican Party Convention some of the commissioners changed their tunes. Stating that if the Sons of the Confederacy don’t want it moved then it won’t be moved. That if the city doesn’t want the statue on one of the graveyards mentioned then it won’t be moved. Gene Houpe said they voted to move it, so a judge won’t have to tell them where to put it. This was to stop a so-called lawsuit.
Chattney Harris, an area businessman said, “We are not asking them to demolish it, we just want it moved from constant sight,’ maybe to a graveyard of their choice.”
It appears the County Commissioners initial call to the press was to show good faith publicly like a band aid thinking as in the past, it would just go away.
Constant reminders of mistreatment are often hard to forget, and band aids only cover a small area. The Black community now is concerned about threats running rapid against their lives.