Courage in the face of racism:
The mayor of one town in Halifax County said he's calling on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to take action after receiving racist threats. Enfield Mayor Mondale Robinson said that letters his residents received are "domestic terror threats" and should be grounds for a state of emergency.
Residents received letters in a plastic bag with a racial slur, calling on the "white people of Enfield" to do something after someone “stomped down a piece of their white heritage.” The letter referenced the town's decision to take down a confederate statue in a local park.
It was actually bulldozed and not "stomped down," but that really doesn't matter. The peoples' chosen elected officials made the decision (4-1) to get rid of the statue, and the SBI needs to focus its attention on the threats to those residents and officials, and stop worrying about how or why it was done:
Atlanta Black Star received a statement from the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation which says, “On Sunday, August 21, 2022, the SBI received requests from the Enfield Police Chief and District Attorney to investigate property damage at a park in Enfield. The investigation remains ongoing. Once the investigation is complete, the case file will be submitted to the DA for review. The DA will determine whether criminal charges are appropriate, not the SBI.”
In 2015, North Carolina lawmakers passed a law declaring monuments, memorials and works of art owned by the state may not be removed, relocated or altered without approval of the North Carolina Historical Commission. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Robinson cites the Confederate monument posed a safety risk which is a provision in the law. The mayor further adds that the monument was owned by the town of Enfield.
“Rather than be reactive for when Enfield becomes a small version of Charlottesville, we took away that statue and got rid of it,” Robinson said.
Since Robinson’s removal of the Confederate monument, he says on Aug. 27, a flyer began circulation saying, “white people of Enfield! You have let a ‘n—-r’ tyrant stomp on your white heritage! What will you do? Don’t let them get away with anything.” The flyer indicates Loyal White Knights, one of the largest and most active Klan groups in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is behind the flyer.
Despite the ongoing investigation, Robinson stands by his decision to personally remove the Confederate monument and feels he is within the law in doing so. He also believes its removal is a good move for the majority-Black town in which he received 76 percent of the vote to beat out an incumbent mayor this past spring.
“Anyone who can’t see the relationship between Black people barking or hating the Confederacy is blind and trying to perpetuate white supremacy,” Robinson said.
White Supremacists are getting more active in North Carolina recently. Flyers similar to this one were dropped in some High Point neighborhoods just last week, but those in Enfield are literally calling for whites to attack African-American elected officials.
It's time for the SBI and maybe the NC DOJ to step in and make sure citizens (and their local government representatives) are safe.