Confederate statue has no place in Surry County

8/25/2017, 7:29 p.m.

I write as one of many concerned citizens who believe it is time for the Confederate monuments to come down, particularly the one outside the Surry County Courthouse.

I have passed that statue many times in the last 40-plus years and I have overlooked the honor given to men who fought to keep me, my ancestors and my descendants in slavery.

I thought, “Is not Surry County different?” So many here fought long, hard and dangerous battles to build a county and a school system that are representative of all the county’s citizens. We have made outstanding advances in civil rights and equal opportunity in Surry County since 1971. Should we be concerned about a statue that was erected to honor a way of life that hopefully is long gone?

However, after watching the developments in Charlottesville, and seeing the actions of men and women who advocate hate and bigotry and the reaction of President Trump, who is lost to the importance to symbols in our lives, I believe it is time to say this statue has no place on the courthouse yard. It is not what we stand for and want to honor.

Let’s not leave this task to our children.


Surry County

The writer is a retired Surry County General District Court judge.