Historian Weighs In On Confederate Statues Around NC Capitol Building

The Fight Over Confederate Monuments

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Three Confederate statues have been stationed around the grounds of the State Capitol for more than 100 years.

Some say the monuments represent history, others say they just show hate.

WFMY News 2 caught up with a Curator at the North Carolina Museum of History, Earl Ijames. He explained why the monuments were put up in the first place.

"They were placed here at the State Capitol to denote a historical fact," Ijames explained. "That North Carolina, in particular, suffered a large sacrifice of men and blood and treasure during the Civil War. And it was people after the war who wanted to commemorate and honor those individual men."

The statues include a 75-foot tall confederate monument, a statue honoring the Women of the Confederacy and their sacrifices and a statue showing Henry Lawson Wyatt, the first confederate soldier to die in battle. All three were erected more than 100 years ago.

Ijames says, when looking at these statues, it's important to remember they showcase one side of history.

"Many of those monuments did have an ulterior motive to underscore the political platform of white supremacy," Ijames said.

However, Ijames says all historical artifacts are important and he wouldn't want to see the statues taken down.

"To take them down would be an attempt to deny our history or even erase it. Instead of tearing down monuments, I suggest we put up new monuments to help educate people even further," he said. "Monuments to freedom or to honor former slaves."

 

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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