Strong Words As Dozens Weighed-In About The Future Of A Confederate Monument

SALISBURY, NC — In the middle of Innes Street in downtown Salisbury sits the decades old “Fame” statue. Ironic — since right now, it seems to have the city split.

Dozens spoke at the packed Salisbury Civic Center in a public meeting Monday night. Some say the Confederate monument needs to be moved because of public safety.

“The longer that Fame is up the more likely Salisbury will be the location of an event like Charlottesville,” says Salisbury resident Michael Martelli.

Others says leave it alone — it’s part of history.

“There is no right codified in the constitution to be protected against being offended by history which is beyond change it or anything else for that matter,” says Salisbury resident Wes Rhinier.

It’s been vandalized twice in the past year. Members of the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP encouraged people to to come and wear green at the public meeting, to show support for moving the monument to a museum or putting it at a Confederate cemetery.

“What a city values, it memorializes. The fact that my city memorialize hate and oppression and the genocide of my people, quite frankly it makes me upset,” says Political action chair with Salisbury-Rowan NAACP Anthony Ray Smith.

Mayor Al Heggins says part of the solution needs to come from the community, “I think it’s a city Council we will do our best to make sure we honor our community and also work with in the parameters of the law.”

The local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy own the statue. Now, the city attorney will try to figure out if they can in fact move the statue by law.