Winston-Salem ready to take legal action to move Confederate statue

Move over Silent Sam, this other dude's time has come:

Although the city has offered to pay the costs of relocating the statue to a new site, Mayor Allen Joines said he was told in recent months by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the statue’s owners, that the group doesn’t believe it can legally move the monument because of a North Carolina law passed in 2015.

The city is threatening legal action to have the statue moved if the UDC doesn’t act on its own by Jan. 31.

Pretty sure that 2015 law does not apply. The statue was originally placed on public property, but that property was sold and converted into downtown apartments. But the statue is still the "property" of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. On the plus side, there is a historic cemetery not far away where Confederate soldiers are actually buried, so hopefully the UDC will see the wisdom of moving the statue to that site. But a looming conflict has already been set in motion. Jordan Green with the Triad City Beat has been tracking potentially dangerous White Supremacists in the region for a while, and he's got some details:

It’s possible that the transfer of the Confederate monument from its downtown perch to the Salem Cemetery will proceed in an orderly fashion, with grudging cooperation from all parties. But based on past history in Chapel Hill and Charlottesville, that doesn’t seem likely.

No sooner had news broke of the vandalism of the Confederate monument in Winston-Salem than an “Heirs to the Confederacy Monument Support Rally” event scheduled for Jan. 13 cropped up on Facebook. The hosts of the event — Nancy Rushton, Lance Spivey and Howard Snow — previously organized a similar “Heirs to the Confederacy Prayer Service” at the base of Silent Sam on Dec. 16. The Jan. 13 event is billed as a multi-location affair in which the neo-Confederates will rally at Silent Sam in Chapel Hill from 9 a.m. to noon, and then ride together to Winston-Salem and rally at the Old Forsyth Courthouse from 2 to 5 p.m.

The most visible and vocal guest at the Dec. 16 “Heirs to the Confederacy” event was a notorious militia activist from Georgia named James Stachowiak, who is best known for harassing the Stacey Abrams campaign and posting a video in which he advocated shooting women and children in the back. During the Chapel Hill event, Stachowiak set up an Facebook Live video with a neo-Confederate from Tennessee named Mark Davis. While the camera in Chapel Hill was trained on anti-racist counter-protesters, Davis could be seen in an inset leveling a high-powered rifle ostensibly at the counter-protesters and addresses Stachowiak: “Tell ’em. This is what their facing. They wanted war. You better not mess with us. You better not mess with the Confederacy.”

You know, five years ago I would have said these guys are all talk, and shouldn't be given any concern or consideration. But all that changed after Dylan Roof massacred nine African-Americans in a Charleston church and James Alex Fields brutally murdered Heather Heyer with his car in Charlottesville. We can no longer afford to dismiss these lunatics.

It would be wise for City officials/attorneys to remind the UDC of their recent statement:

We are grieved that certain hate groups have taken the Confederate flag and other symbols as their own. We are the descendants of Confederate soldiers, sailors, and patriots. Our members are the ones who have spent 123 years honoring their memory by various activities in the fields of education, history and charity, promoting patriotism and good citizenship. Our members are the ones who, like our statues, have stayed quietly in the background, never engaging in public controversy.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy totally denounces any individual or group that promotes racial divisiveness or white supremacy. And we call on these people to cease using Confederate symbols for their abhorrent and reprehensible purposes.

Of course there's some additional language in there defending flags and statues, but if the UDC really meant the above, they would move that WS monument with the quickness.