Photo credit: The Carolinian
Team Emancipate’s Dawn Blagrove moderated a panel on the Consequences of Confederate Monument Removal earlier this month. The panel discussion explored the real risks and challenges that our people face as they work to take down racist symbols. The panel was one of many at the “Undue Harm” symposium hosted by the NC Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System’s (NC CRED).
Panelists shared distressing experiences in the wake of efforts to remove Confederate monuments. Angry white people brought death threats, doxxing, and other intimidation tactics. Unfortunately, it is not just overt white supremacists that oppose monument removal. Removal efforts are also stalled by bureaucracy and foot-dragging by elected and appointed officials. As one panelist shared, officials are often “more concerned with keeping order than they are with doing justice,” compromising values in an attempt to avoid right-wing backlash.
Dawn summarized this reality, noting that “following the appropriate channels” isn’t what will topple Confederate monuments across our state. She drew a parallel to the Underground Railroad in describing the panelists who collaborated to take down downtown Raleigh’s monuments in 2020.
Nothing less than that bold resolve will win the justice we deserve.