STATEMENT on the Desecration of Cemeteries and Monuments in North Carolina
North Carolina Division, The Sons of Confederate Veterans
July 12, 2015
Since the despicable murders of nine persons in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, back on June 17, we have witnessed a growing number of acts of desecration of cemeteries and historic monuments all across North Carolina. Monuments honoring veterans of the War Between the States in Asheville and in Durham and “Silent Sam” on the campus of the University of North Carolina –Chapel Hill have been defaced, and Maplewood Cemetery in Durham has been desecrated.
These are acts of wanton vandalism that not only violate our laws, but also strike at one of the most sacred duties that all men have: respect for their ancestors.
Sadly, some students and professors, when interviewed about these acts of outright vandalism smugly excuse these attacks as “just another form of civic protest,” and “our right to protest racism.” In some ways, the mentality of these respondents demonstrates a worse regard for history and law than that of the criminals who committed the actions. It indicates that in our society too many people are ignorant of the past, or, at the very least, misunderstand it.
Monuments, whether to soldiers who fought in the War Between the States or to George Washington or to a Booker T. Washington, are symbols of our collective history. They are visible reminders that recall our past. Certainly, not all of that past pleases everyone. Each of us who thinks about our history has every right to dislike some events and some individuals. But all of it goes into the mix of what made our nation. It is one thing to criticize our first president and the real Founder of our nation, George Washington, because he was a slaveholder, or Nathan Bedford Forrest, because he was a Confederate general. It is quite another thing to attempt to erase them, and the monuments that remind us of them, from our history and our historical consciousness.
The present physical attacks and assaults on the artifacts of our history, thus, are not only vandalism that must be punished by the full extent of the law. They are attempts to erase and eradicate any real memory of that history. Somehow, we are told, if we banish a monument and hide it, or stick a flag in a dusty archives out of public view, that will make our problems go away. Yet, removing the visible symbols of our past, the symbols of our heritage, whether we treasure them or dislike them, destroys our perspective and real sense of history.
There is a cultural Marxist agenda in this nation that would like nothing better than to eradicate all historical memory and all visible signs of a past that it despises. With students and a population who have been purged of any idea of the complexities of the past, with all memory aborted, all opposing views stricken, vacant minds may be indoctrinated with the latest politically correct ideology. It is a slippery slope that leads to totalitarianism: what is next, we ask? Change the name of Washington, D.C.? What about Hoke, Lee and Vance counties? What about all the streets, forts, parks and other symbolic names—must they all be purged from our consciousness? Is this not Stalinism full blown?
We of the North Carolina Division, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, strongly urge our law enforcement agencies and those responsible for public order to rigorously take all necessary measures to protect the monuments of North Carolina’s history. We strongly urge Governor McCrory to add his voice and join with us in condemning acts of violence and vandalism against these symbols. We call upon the leaders of the University of North Carolina to publicly and forcefully condemn these acts of hatred and take vigorous action to protect monuments on university grounds. Our history and historical memory as a people are at stake.
J. Daniel Bolick
Commander, The North Carolina Division
The Sons of Confederate Veterans
Claremont, North Carolina