Winston-Salem is the latest city to move to get rid of a prominent Confederate statue.
This one, dedicated in 1905, stands at the corner of West Fourth and North Liberty Streets downtown but is actually owned by the Daughters of the Confederacy. That’s the same group responsible for the erection of the “Silent Sam” monument on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus and many others throughout the South.
The group, which was responsible for a wave of such statues in the same period white supremacist campaigns disfranchised Black Voters and brought about legal segregation, has asked for Silent Sam to be returned to them.
But since UNC is technically the owner of the statue a 2015 law , passed to prevent the removal of confederate statues as a public movement to do away with them swelled, states, complicates that case.
Not so with Winston-Salem’s statue, suggested Mayor Allen Joines at an Emancipation Proclamation ceremony Tuesday. The statue is on private property.
The city has previously asked the Daughters of the Confederacy to relocate the statue. It was vandalized on Christmas day – the second time in the last two years – with protesters writing “Cowards & Traitors” just beneath its inscription. Joines said the city now considers the statue a public nuisance and potential threat to public safety. He’s giving the group until Jan. 31 to relocate the statue before the city takes legal action to have it removed.
At the same ceremony Tuesday, Winston-Salem City Council Member D.D. Adams said the city is “trying to be nice” but has to face the reality fo the situation.
“In the heat of the night, people may come through like ninja warriors and take that statue down,” said, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.