NC panel votes to keep Confederate monuments, add context about slavery

NC panel votes to keep Confederate monuments, add context about slavery
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The North Carolina Historical Commission voted Wednesday to keep three Confederate monuments on the grounds of the state Capitol building amid controversy about the statues’ future in the state.

The commission voted 10-1 not to remove the statues, but to add context about slavery and civil rights, according to The Associated Press. The commission also called for a monument to be built honoring African-Americans’ contributions to North Carolina.

The state commission’s vote came in response to Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who called for the three monuments to be removed from the Capitol grounds and preserved at a Civil War battlefield.

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Confederate statues in the U.S. have been at the center of debate following the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., which erupted around the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The decision came just days after protesters toppled a Confederate statue on the campus of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The “Silent Sam” statue, which was erected in 1913, has been a source of contention on the campus.

According to North Carolina’s ABC11, there are more than 100 Confederate monuments, statues and memorials throughout the state. State law prohibits the removal of Confederate statues without the express permission of the state.

Beyond Silent Sam, a number of Confederate statues in North Carolina and other states have been vandalized, toppled or otherwise defaced in recent months.