State Watch

NC gov calls for bringing down Confederate monuments

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is calling for the state to remove Confederate statues from public property following the violent protest in Charlottesville, Va., over the removal of one depicting Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

In a blog post on Medium Tuesday, Cooper urged the state's legislature to repeal a law barring the removal or relocation of such monuments, which he said glorify the Confederacy's defense of slavery. 

"Some people cling to the belief that the Civil War was fought over states' rights. But history is not on their side," he wrote. "We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down."

Cooper said that he has already asked the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to assess the cost and logistics for taking such statues down, as well as the possibility of placing them in "museums or historical sites where they can be studied in context."

Cooper's call to take down the monuments came three days after violence broke out during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

One counterprotester was killed amid Saturday's chaos, after a car driven by an Ohio man attending the white supremacist rally plowed through a crowd of demonstrators. 

In his blog post Tuesday, Cooper also urged the North Carolina state Senate to reject a measure that would grant criminal and civil immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit protesters in the street. The state House passed that bill earlier this year.

President Trump seemed to criticize the removal of Confederate statues during a heated press conference on Tuesday, suggesting that doing so would eventually lead to the removal of monuments dedicated to Founding Fathers, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

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