Lexington Confederate monument sparks criticism of Davidson County commissioners; community says lack of transparency

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Two groups, with very different opinions, surrounded the Davidson County Government Building Tuesday night hoping to send a message to the Davidson County Board of Commissioners. 

For weeks, crowds have surrounded the Confederate monument in uptown Lexington in a show of support or protest. 

“I think about it being like right across from the courthouse and it’s like, how can somebody even imagine being able to walk into that courthouse and get justice when you have something representing white supremacy right across the street?” said Elijah Law, a supporter of relocating the Confederate monument.

Last month, the Lexington City Council unanimously approved a resolution to present to the county commissioners requesting the removal of the Confederate statue from its current location. 

“They keep saying it’s going to be moved, and we are not going to let that happen, regardless,” said Terri Moore, who is against relocating the Confederate monument. 

According to the city, on Aug. 6, city staff received an official response from the county denying the request. 

“It’s really upsetting because it’s like we are putting in all this work and they are just ignoring that we are even out here trying to fight for something,” said Law. 

People living in Davidson County say discussions about the future of the Confederate statue are happening in the street or city council’s chambers, but the county has yet to hold a town hall or public hearing on the issue. 

The property the Confederate monument is located on is county-owned, putting the responsibility on county commissioners to decide what happens to the statue. 

“I think the county should at least listen to the people. Make some comments, tell us why, when. Why they won’t move it, or when they will move it, or the reason that it’s not coming down,” said Tonya Lanier, a supporter of relocating the Confederate monument. 

Residents want their concerns addressed and say you can’t stay silent forever.

“I think we should all be able to go into meetings and say what we feel about it,” said Rhonda Lomax, who is against relocating the statue. 

“When we can’t even depend on our elected officials, the ones that were voted in, when we can’t even expect them to do what’s right for all citizens, what do we expect from a group like this,” said Rosa Terry, a supporter of relocating the statue.

Thursday morning, Lexington Mayor Newell Clark is holding a press conference to announce further action on the relocation of the Confederate statue. The city says it tried to work with the county to find a solution, but county officials have dismissed every opportunity to address the concerns of the community. 

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