Shots have been fired.
Two days after the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to begin the removal process for the Confederate memorial in front of the Chatham County Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro, the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have accused the board of offering an option to reimagine the monument as a "death warrant for the memorial" and pledged to "stand with our sisters in the UDC" in their "fight against" the board.
The statement, attributed not to an individual but to the group as a whole, was sent to media outlets late Wednesday afternoon. In full, it reads:
"The Chatham County Board of Commissioners, taking its cue from the politically-motivated governments of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Winston-Salem has decided to act illegally and unilaterally to remove the County’s Confederate memorial. They cunningly convinced the local United Daughters of the Confederacy into signing a death warrant for the memorial disguised as a memorandum of understanding. Based on its actions on Monday night, the Board clearly had no intention of 'compromising' and would have only accepted as a solution to this manufactured 'problem,' an agreement by the UDC to remove the memorial from its place of prominence. The Board is now using the UDC as a scapegoat in media for their ill-conceived strategy to pursue the memorial’s removal under a laughable theory of 'trespass.' We, the North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, stand with our sisters in the UDC and will offer every resource we can to them in their fight against the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. The sacrifice of Chatham County’s veterans cannot and should not be erased by these politicians and their activist backers."
The release came six hours after the county had its own release sent out, which included a statement from board chair Mike Dasher.
“We know this is an emotional topic for the residents of Chatham County, and we value the passion that has come from all sides,” Dasher said. “The monument represents a very different time in Chatham County, but its message does not represent our values today. We hope that by moving the monument to a more appropriate historical site, the lives of Confederate soldiers can still be memorialized, while also respecting everyone in our diverse community today.”
The statement added that the board had "heard comments from more than 100 people" since April and were "disappointed that the UDC recently ended talks about 'reimagining' the monument."
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