UDC should have input on statue

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Our county Board of Supervisors recently appointed eight of the nine non-government members to a “Task Force” to make recommendations on the future of the county’s memorial to its dead Confederate soldiers.

The local Chamber of Commerce decided not to appoint a member, presumably because they felt the memorial’s presence (or absence) would not affect commercial interests in the county either way.

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That leaves one open seat on the Task Force if the board chooses to fill it. I humbly (or maybe not so!) make a suggestion. The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) deserves to be represented. After all, they were the ones who collected the donations for the memorial and had it erected in 1905. If any organization is a “stakeholder” in the conversation about the Memorial’s future, it is the UDC.

One could argue that we already know what the UDC’s opinion probably is. Well, OK, sure. But the NAACP has a seat on the task force. Their opinion is already publicly known, for removal, of course. After all, they sponsored the two “peaceful” marches in our county calling for the “immediate” removal of the monument.

I put “peaceful” in quotes because, if you observed these two protests as I did, you saw prominent “BLM” signs carried by several participants. As you know, BLM adherents have notoriously rioted, looted and burned things nationwide. One self-identified BLM person also recently shot a police officer.

So if the NAACP has a seat on the Task Force, why not the UDC?

I appeal to the Board of Supervisors and my fellow county residents for a sense of fairness. Let’s ask the UDC to have a seat at our discussion table.

Albert Burckard