RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – The Confederate monument outside the Randolph County Courthouse has been a point of contention for the past several years.
“I believe people don’t understand just how offensive the monument is,” said Clyde Foust, the president of the Asheboro/Randolph County NAACP.
On Tuesday, the county chapter held a meeting about the history of the more than a century old confederate monument in the middle of Court Sqaure.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the monument including the bronze soldier in 1911.
In recent years there have been protests for the removal.
Foust said the monument doesn’t represent a growing and more diverse county and should be moved into a museum. He told FOX8 it would be a compromise for those who want it to stay or be removed.
“We feel like when the public sees the whole picture they might have a better understanding of why we think the monument should be moved,” he said. “We’re not asking for them to take it down. There’s a lot of people who want it taken down. What we’re saying is put it in a museum so that those people who want to keep the monument in context can use it as a learning experience.”
During the meeting, he shared a series of five short videos about the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy’ and the history of the monument.
He included newspaper articles, speech quotes, scrapbooks from the Randolph Room at the Asheboro Library and Randolph County slave deeds.
“We’re not saying that’s our opinion,” Foust said. “We’re telling you what the leaders of the Confederacy said, the legislators of the Confederate States said and what they said in their own Confederate Constitution.”
The land and monument are owned by the county.
“We’re going to work through this either way together,” said Darrell Frye, chairman of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners. “Those who would like to have the statue removed, their numbers are growing but they have been respectful and have been cooperative and have indicated they will continue to do that.”
Frye told FOX8 the earliest commissioners could consider a request to remove the monument is in October.
He said the idea may face hurdles including, the need for land at a new location, approval from the North Carolina Historical Commission and a full consensus of the commissioners.
“Right now, the board is divided I think on exactly what we should do,” Frye said. “We’re going to have to have some time to digest it all and see where we go.”
Foust said he’s has met one-on-one with county commissioners about the idea, some of the conversations dating back to 2017.
He said the NAACP plans to release five short videos on their social media to start a conversation in the community about the future of the monument.