On Friday, a group of protesters toppled two Confederate statues and dragged them through downtown Raleigh, hanging one from a streetlight on West Hargett Street and dumping the other in front of the old Wake County courthouse. On Saturday, Governor Cooper ordered the removal of the remaining Confederate statues on Capitol grounds. The INDY was there to document each emotional moment—and our readers had some thoughts.
Reader DONALD MERTRUD wanted an investigation into Roy Cooper’s family heritage to accompany the INDY’s weekend statue-removal coverage. “By NOT doing a Story on their Boy, Roy Cooper’s direct ties to slave ownership, INDY WEEK is passively ENDORSING SLAVERY.”
AMANDA DARNELL reflected on her own family heritage. “My maternal & paternal families have Confederate Veterans…that is how Southern I am,” she said. “With that being said, I don’t want my ancestors to be honored in public places for fighting to maintain slavery & attempting to break up the US. I am repentant they fought to maintain white supremacy. I don’t hate them for their action because I don’t know what circumstances they faced when making their decision, or if they even had a choice in the matter. But I am not experiencing guilt about having confederate veterans in my family. I just think they tried to break up the US while also maintaining slavery/white supremacy. It’s impossible to have respect for that, but I don’t have guilt about it either. Shame, not guilt.”
MIKE O’BRIAN, meanwhile, was not a fan of the protesters. “The police should have shot a few of these criminals and maybe the rest of the low life bottom feeders would have thought better. Video should be used to prosecute everyone involved.”
By and large, though, there was a lot of joy around watching the statues felled.
“The people have tried to have these participation trophies removed through peaceful means and the statues were protected by racists in suits,” reader CHRIS HOWELL wrote. “If those with the power WON’T remove them, the people will. History remains the same without reminders of human suffering and continued oppression glorified in the public square.”