Asheville votes to remove monument to Confederate governor

North Carolina

(WNCN photo)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The City Council for Asheville has voted to remove a monument dedicated to a racist governor of the Confederacy.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the council voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday to remove the 75-foot granite obelisk at the center of the city’s downtown.

The monument honors Zebulon Vance. He was a Buncombe County native and North Carolina governor during the Civil War as well as a U.S. senator. He also owned slaves. And he once wrote that a “putrid stream of African barbarism” ran through the veins of Black people.

Scaffolding was placed around the monument in 2020 after Asheville and Buncombe County officials established their desire for it to be “replaced or altered in such a manner as to honor the local history of African Americans.”

Confederate monuments across the southern U.S. have long been viewed by many as symbols of white supremacy. And they’ve drawn increasing attention following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

Many of the memorials to the Confederacy are being taken down, whether by demonstrators opposed to racial injustice or by authorities seeking to dismantle them through official channels.

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