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A local activist is asking that the Confederate monument, which symbolizes racism, hate, and inequality outside of Onslow County Superior Courthouse be removed.
The Onslow County Courthouse is supposed to be a place where citizens receive equal and exact justice, and no citizen should be caused to think otherwise by any person or object, Action Pac Founder, Al Burgess said. However, the receipt of fair and exact justice at our courthouse is not the perception of all the citizens of Onslow County, because some are met by a monument that symbolizes racism, hate, and inequality upon their entrance, he said.
A petition directed to local Senators, House Representatives, and County Commissioners started by Burgess Sunday has nearly 400 signatures.
Petitioning for the removal of this monument from the front of our courthouse is about showing the citizens of our county that our local government acknowledges and understands that all citizens have the right to receive fair and exact justice as well as the perception of the same, and there should be no person or edifice to cause them to think any differently especially at the porch of a courthouse, Burgess said when asked about what change would the removal of the confederate monument bring to Onslow County.
The monument has been outside of Onslow County Superior Court since December of 1957, and it sits in the center of a small rectangular garden bed, surrounded by evergreen and seasonal plantings.
In 2017, Governor Roy Cooper released a statement about Confederate monuments, saying they should come down.
Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums, he said.
Burgess said the monument is not just some stone statue to decorate the courthouse in an effort to make it more aesthetically pleasing, nor is it just a memory of benign history.
This monument is a confederate monument purposely erected in 1957 to intimidate black people and white civil rights supporters at the start of the civil rights movement, he said. It is also meant to celebrate a fictional, sanitized confederacy; disregarding the death, disregarding the enslavement, and acts of terror and treason that it actually represented.
The petition states that it is demanding legislation to be drafted to properly effect its removal and relocation to a more appropriate location.
People in the community can get involved by participating in the election process, registering voters, and also by signing the petition, Burgess said.
Hopefully, this petition will call for the monument to be removed.