On August 20, 2018, the night before a national prisoners’ strike was set to begin, students and protesters at the University of North Carolina pulled down a monument to the racist Confederacy.
The monument’s destruction came just a year after a similar monument was pulled down in Durham, North Carolina by Workers World Party activists.
The racist and white supremacist government figures both in the North Carolina state government and on the University of North Carolina campus have condemned the destruction because it challenges the base of their power.
Earlier in the evening before the monument was pulled down, Black students at the university said they would wear symbolic nooses on their neck to protest the monument’s continued existence.
It is worth noting that Andrew Reynolds, a political science professor at North Carolina, has published studies that say the state is barely even a democracy, citing the ruthless partisan gerrymandering in the state and the fact that members of the state’s legislature worked into the night to attempt to strip the incoming governor of some of his powers.
For decades, racists have maintained that Confederate monuments were merely historical markers, designed to be reminders of what took place during the Civil War in the United States.
However, this claim is a joke. Many of these monuments were put up in the 20th Century explicitly to intimidate Black people. In the case of the monument to racism at UNC, a speech given by a former Confederate soldier at the statue’s dedication made overt racist comments about how the Civil War was fought by the south to maintain white supremacy.
At The Forge, we stand in solidarity with those who work to destroy these monuments to white supremacy and hope they ALL will come down soon.