GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Discussions on whether to remove the monument or keep it date back to 2006. In 2017, Pitt County Commissioners voted against a petition to remove it.
After Sunday’s destruction, local business owner Jessica McNally is starting the conversation again and a petition drive of her own.
“if it wasn’t for everything that this represents, the oppression of African Americans over time then maybe none of that would be an issue at all, maybe none of this would be happening, maybe George Floyd would still be here,” said McNally.
McNally feels she has to speak out.
She’s starting a petition drive to remove the confederate monument outside the Pitt County courthouse. Vandals damaged the monument in Sunday’s disturbance.
“The whole point of the petition is to just move forward not memorialize oppression but move forward to a better more open space,” she said.
Pitt County commissioners are currently planning the budget for the next fiscal year. Wednesday, commissioner Chris Nunnally posed a question, can the county afford to relocate the monument?
“This discussion around this memorial and statue has been raised by the community and I hope it is one that we can address,” he said.
“I’m not in favor of moving it we have enough problems to worry about,” said commissioner Tom Coulson.
“If it were to be moved where would it go, how much would it cost. This is a really bad time to start spending money on something like this,” said commissioner Alex Albright.
At last check, the petition has more than 600 signatures.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy released the following statement:
The North Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, categorically opposes any effort to destroy, remove, relocate, or mischaracterize Confederate memorials. As we have repeatedly said, these memorials are part of North Carolina’s rich history and honor veterans who fought and died for their homes. Just like any other memorial to American veterans, these memorials deserve to remain unmolested. Further, objects of remembrance such as Confederate memorials are protected by state law. Though lawlessness is the order of the day, we support the rule of law. Knee-jerk political partisanship and mobs must be stopped.
Sara N. Powell
North Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy