Confederate Monument Replaced By a Bud

Update: No surprise that Richard Williams is upset about the removal of the statue. He goes through his standard schtick by blaming the politically correct crowd, but then refers to me as part of the anti-Confederate crowd. No mention at all that it was the United Daughters of the Confederacy that approved the removal of the statue to the cemetery. Seems to me that in this case it’s the UDC that ought to be saddled with this label. Old Virginia is a strange place indeed.

Back in 2011 the Confederate solider monument in Reidsville, North Carolina was hit by a car. A debate ensued about whether it should be repaired and whether it should be relocated. The United Daughters of the Confederacy chose to move it to a local cemetery. City officials have recently decided on a piece of public art to replace the monument. It’s called “The Bud.” You can read about the concept in the article.

Included in the story is an interview with Rodney Williams that is worth listening to. He speaks passionately about his conviction that the monument’s rightful place is at the center of the town. Regardless of whether I agree with his preferred interpretation of the Confederacy and the men who fought for it, there is nothing malicious about what he has to say. I can sympathize with his need to honor the men listed on the monument and who are buried in the cemetery.

My hope is that Mr. Williams can find a way to do this within the confines of the cemetery and at the same time come to terms with the fact that a sufficient number of his fellow residents feel otherwise.

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24 comments… add one
  • Greg Dec 25, 2014 @ 0:14

    Mr. Burbrook,
    You are correct in your assumption that I am Caucasian, or a “white guy” as you put it. You also guessed correctly that I am frustrated.
    I’m frustrated that a select group of people are being coddled and pandered to because of something that happened to someone likely not even related to them over 150 years ago.
    I’m frustrated that a beautiful historical monument that stood uncontested and unharmed for over 100 years was removed to appease a few people with an agenda while our federal government erected a monument among Washington and Lincoln to Michael King, a.k.a. Dr. Martin Luther King, a known communist.
    I’m frustrated that this group of people are not accountable for crimes they commit and naive people who have no firsthand knowledge of the subject defend said group.
    I sincerely apologize you interpreted my post as a rant. I categorize it as frank discussion. Had I known you were a European white guy I probably would not have came on as strong.
    I congratulate you on being such an authority on American history. However the topic of this discussion is a very localized one.
    You can read all the books and watch all the documentaries ever made and you will never know or understand our culture. Americans from north of Virginia and west of the Mississippi River don’t understand it. You may think you know, but believe me, you don’t. Just as I could never understand all the intricacies of European cultures.
    Two of the things in Southern culture we embrace is our pride in our part of the country and our history. Southerners are by and large a very sentimental people.
    Most Southerners, myself included, are not proud of slavery or Jim Crow laws. Those were undeniably wrong. We are proud of our beautiful coastlines, farms, mountains, good food, friendly people, and even our memorials that honor men who were not afraid to stand for their beliefs. We also believe, as most Americans do, that the will of a few shall not infringe on the will of many – which is exactly what happened here in Reidsville.
    I do not understand what slavery in the southern US has to do with the World Cup or a Confederate monument but I am not a soccer fan.
    I also don’t understand your gratitude toward Emmit Till in relation to Jim Crow laws, but as you stated you were perfectly aware of what happened here so I’m sure you know something I don’t…….
    Since you brought up Mr. Till I would like to ask you a question. What would you do if a young male, black, white, red, or yellow came behind the counter of your business, grabbed your wife from behind groping her breasts, pressing and rubbing his groin against her, telling her he was going to #### her?
    I am also perfectly aware your part of the world was involved in two world wars. My grandfather left some blood, flesh, and bone there in the second one.
    I visited Germany with my grandfather. Somewhere outside Wiesbaden he showed me a monument. It was a statue of a German soldier. The monument was in honor of the fallen Germans who had fought in WWII. These men fought a lost cause under the most evil flag in world history, do they deserve to be remembered?

    • Kevin Levin Dec 25, 2014 @ 2:50

      I’m frustrated that a beautiful historical monument that stood uncontested and unharmed for over 100 years was removed to appease a few people with an agenda while our federal government erected a monument among Washington and Lincoln to Michael King, a.k.a. Dr. Martin Luther King, a known communist.

      It seems to me that you should take this up with the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They were largely responsible for the monument’s removal to the cemetery. It’s hard to take you seriously when all you simply do is use this occasion to express larger frustrations.

    • Michael C. Williams Dec 25, 2014 @ 3:23

      Well put Mr Greg but lets face it…

      No matter what you say to these people you’ll never change their views, and that’s the same thing on our end.

  • John Burbrook Dec 22, 2014 @ 13:51

    What I don’t understand is why people are upset when a staue is moved. This is a statue of a soldier fighting for a bad cause (slavery), and on top of that loosing the war. Were all these vehement southerners also upset when the soviet soldiers & leaders’ statues were removed in the early 1990s in the former Eastern Europe? Probably not. Why I ask myself? Is it because they think that communism fighting the fascists is a worse cause than defending slavery? Or is it just plain racism?

    • Greg Dec 23, 2014 @ 18:14

      Mr. Burbrook,
      I am a native of Rockingham County N.C. where this monument stood proudly for over 100 years. In my 46 years I never once heard any controversy whatsoever regarding the Confederate monument from any citizen black or white…..until it was hit by a mini van driven by a black man who claims he “fell asleep” and drove over 3/4 of a mile, through a very sharp ‘S’ curve, through 2 intersections, and finally up a very steep grade before impacting the monument.
      Reidsville being the small town it is, and having a city council consisting of ten-cent millionaires with the political aptitude of a junior-high student council candidate along with the local retired school teacher – part-time race pimp – NAACP member types got scared when the big-city news hounds started asking them the standard “Are you worried about lawsuit because this evil racist statue jumped out in front of this poor downtrodden black man innocently sleeping while peacefully driving in your town” type questions, panicked, and removed the monument under no direction.
      As a matter of fact, they were so afraid of this guy he wasn’t charged with any traffic violation for several weeks. After finally charging him with a moving violation, he never paid any fines and never showed for his court date.
      Magically, that seems to be the end of that part of the story.
      But I digress……..
      The men honored by our monument were not fighting for slavery. They weren’t wealthy enough to own slaves. They were fighting for North Carolina, the South, state’s rights, and to keep a bunch of Yankee thieves, rapists, and pillagers out of our towns and farms. I do not see that as a “bad cause” as you do.
      That war was fought over much more than slavery. If you could be troubled to break away from Dancing With the Stars or the NFL long enough to do a little research you would know that slavery was on its way out before the war started. The powers in charge at the time were busily trying to reach a solution of how to send the slaves back. The mechanical revolution was on the horizon.
      Regarding Eastern Europe, and BTW it is still there – not former, I’m not bothered in the least over monuments to communist leaders being destroyed. It is not my fight. It is the people who live in those countries’ fight. Although from what I read into your post I am certain you miss those dictators a great deal.
      So, if you are looking for gainful employment once you return from your “black lives matter” or “hands up dont shoot” sabbatical, I strongly urge you to seek out the a Reidsville City Council. You will do very well there.

      • Jimmy Dick Dec 23, 2014 @ 20:33

        Excuse me, but could you take time out from the alternate history you believe in and list those state’s rights those men were supposed to be fighting for? And please show exactly where North Carolina’s leaders said they were fighting for those specific state’s rights?
        I always hear about these state’s rights, but I never see them listed anywhere.

        • Michael C Williams Dec 24, 2014 @ 15:15

          Perhaps you should read this part of Mr. Sanson’s post again.

          “The men honored by our monument were not fighting for slavery. They weren’t wealthy enough to own slaves. They were fighting for North Carolina, the South, state’s rights, and to keep a bunch of Yankee thieves, rapists, and pillagers out of our towns and farms. I do not see that as a “bad cause” as you do.”

          I highly doubt that you’ve ever read about what happened in Athens Alabama or even know what I’m talking about.

          Or maybe you do know but “That’s lost a cause myth.”

          Am I right?

          Do some real research instead of cherry picking to suit your own goals.

          Or would that be too hard for you??

          “The victors write history”
          Winston Churchhill

          • Andy Hall Dec 25, 2014 @ 6:16

            “The men honored by our monument were not fighting for slavery. They weren’t wealthy enough to own slaves.”

            Someone certainly owned them. More than a third of Rockingham County’s population in 1860 were slaves, and between a quarter and a third of free households in Rockingham County contained a slaveholder. In fact, plenty of Confederate soldiers from Rockingham County either owned slaves or, more commonly, came from the six-hunded-plus slaveholding households. I understand why you and Greg want to believe that soldiers from Rockingham County had no connection to slavery or slaveholding, but like most everywhere across the South, the actual evidence shows otherwise.

            • Kevin Levin Dec 25, 2014 @ 6:20

              All white southerners (slave and non-slaveowning) had a stake in the defense of slavery. Just read their letters.

              • Andy Hall Dec 25, 2014 @ 9:55

                According to the 1860 U.S. Census, the combined real and personal property of free residents of Rockingham County averaged about $975 per person, versus about $832 per person over the entire state. Free persons in Rockingham County were substantially better off than most North Carolinians.

          • Jimmy Dick Dec 25, 2014 @ 7:29

            Still waiting for those States rights reasons you conveniently did not list.

      • Burbrook Dec 23, 2014 @ 23:49

        Dear Greg, it is very clear from your ranting in the above comment, that you are one frustrated white guy. Well, before you start ranting again, let me tell you a few things: I’m a white guy from Europe who studied in depth the Civil War. I also know perfectly well what the situation was before, during and especially after the Civil War. The fact that ‘slavery was on it’s way out’ is a twisting of the fact that comes down to claiming that the USA will win the World Cup soccer. Up till the 1960’s, so 100 years AFTER the end of the Civil War the so-called Jim Crow laws were also in your state being imposed. For those who might read this and want to put your comments into perspective, here are the major ones (with thanks to Emmett Till):
        · Blacks and whites could not get married, along with blacks with Indian descent the third generation.
        · Whites and blacks were to be taught in separate schools.
        · Railroads could be used by both blacks and whites, but in separate cars. (Doesn’t apply to streetcars)
        · People of black descent to the third generation were considered “coloured.”
        · No person with “Negro blood in their veins” could attend a school for the white race.
        · In hospitals, blacks had to be accompanied by a black nurse to care for them.
        · Miscegenation was not allowed. Miscegenation was considered a felony
        · Seats on buses were segregated by race, along with mental hospitals and prisons.
        · Black troops could not be with white troops. Coloured troops were under control of white officers.
        · At businesses, blacks had separate bathrooms.
        · Children were not forced to go to school with children of opposite race.
        · Cemeteries were segregated.
        · Blacks and whites couldn’t live in the same neighbourhood.
        Now, just for your information: you might still wish that these laws were for in place, but they are not. You even got a coloured president.

        As for your comments that most of the soldiers that went fighting did this for their state rights and not for the fact that they owned slaves you must remember that the vast majority of the people who serve in armies and fight & die for a ’cause’ are actually not involved in that cause. The country where I live went through two world wars. We have hundreds of thousands of war graves on our territory. Do you really think that any of those soldiers really stood for the cause they died for ?

      • Michael C Williams Dec 24, 2014 @ 14:52

        Yeah right that guy “fell asleep” if the guy was black or white it’s still a load of bull.

        But I agree with the UDC on this one simply because moving it to the cemetery is much safer for the monument in the future.

        I don’t think that placing the the monument in the middle-section in the first place was a smart idea.

        And as for what the Confederate soldier fought for…

        It’s not like there aren’t thousands of letters and journals written by those brave men footing around in the state archives.
        Deo Vindice

        • Andy Hall Dec 24, 2014 @ 17:52

          Yeah right that guy “fell asleep” if the guy was black or white it’s still a load of bull.

          But I agree with the UDC on this one simply because moving it to the cemetery is much safer for the monument in the future.

          So the idea that a drowsy driver hit the monument is preposterous, but you’re glad it’s been moved where it won’t be in danger of being damaged in a traffic accident.

          Got it.

          • Michael C Williams Dec 25, 2014 @ 3:31

            Yes that’s exactly what I meant and I’m sticking to it Mr. Hall.

            But come on he “fell asleep”!?

            He had very good driving skills for somebody that was asleep.

            • Kevin Levin Dec 25, 2014 @ 3:32

              It seems to me that you need to believe that this monument was intentionally damaged. So be it.

        • Jimmy Dick Dec 25, 2014 @ 7:30

          He already vindicated the Union.

  • jessie sanford Dec 20, 2014 @ 18:34

    Well put Mr Levin I do agree.

  • jessie sanford Dec 20, 2014 @ 18:14

    All I can say is if we let our elected officials take away our monuments and symbols of our forefathers that they don’t like what will be next Paul Reverie’s statue on Boston greens?
    Deo Vindice

    • Kevin Levin Dec 20, 2014 @ 18:29

      Our public officials must always answer for their decisions. They are called elections.

      • Andy Hall Dec 21, 2014 @ 13:31

        Reidsville holds municipal elections in the fall of odd-numbered years, with staggered elections for mayor and different city council positions, all with four-year terms. So the current mayor and city council have all gone through a full election cycle since the controversy first came up in the spring of 2011.

  • Andy Hall Dec 20, 2014 @ 8:14

    A “nation-wide call,” and the best they could come up with was this?

    The structure’s base is in the shape of a star. Out of the star comes a stainless steel shaft with what looks like a flower bud on the top.

    All of it is symbolic.

    “Everything is growing out of the roaring past of the history that is there,” Gallucci said. “The star is what is there today and the bud is our future.”

    Gallucci said the bud and the base will have LED lights. The city may choose to change the colors depending on holidays, seasons or events like breast cancer awareness month.

    “This will have little maintenance involved,” Gallucci said. “Just birds buildings nests; squirrels doing things.”

    City officials sent out a nation-wide call in August looking for a piece of art to replace the Reidsville Confederate Monument.

    That sounds just awful.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 20, 2014 @ 8:57

      Bring back the Confederate soldier. 🙂

    • John Betts Dec 20, 2014 @ 12:10

      Yeah, it sounds pretty bad to me as well. I’d have to see a photo of it. Having said this, I believe the UDC and city council made the right call. I sympathize with the passion of the man in this video but believe a more unifying symbol should be chosen for such a prominent place. How about a statue honoring Rockingham soldiers who “answered the call” during the Revolution? Heck, stretch it to honor all those from the county who’ve fought in all the wars our nation has been involved in. I suspect we are going to see this kind of story more and more as we get further and further away in time from the Civil War and its aftermath.

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