“Working for slave wages leads to black market trading, pervasive in-prison debt, violence and decimated self-worth that often leads to recidivism.”
“Shouldn’t the name of Asheville’s civic center, Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville, be among those that must be changed, since the Cherokees were also slaveowners?”
“But his visit to Berchtesgaden and his comments there raise troubling questions that he has failed to answer.”
“I could give you a litany of racial injustice incidents that I’ve personally observed over the years.”
“Turns out there was this effort about 30 years after the war … to propagandize to the youth in schools and erect all of these Confederate statues and monuments to sort of rewrite history, painting the South as fallen victims of big government oppression.”
“I believe the city and county ought to embrace the obelisk and repurpose it for a monument that stands for freedom and rights for every citizen who breathes the air of this nation.”
“Perhaps our Confederate monuments need to be replaced with monuments representing the horror and evil of slavery while also honoring the Black families.”
“Their existence represents a teachable moment to future generations of the evil of slavery. However, these statues are not really all about slavery, they are about the history of our nation.”
“Plainly and unequivocally, common sense says keep the slave where he is now — in servitude,” declared Zebulon Vance, in a May 16, 1860 address to the House of Representatives.
“Although it takes conscious effort and practice, these simple changes in our language make big shifts in our community of Asheville, which must also work to reconcile our own legacy of slavery.”
“We are writing this because we believe that we all should change the way we speak about slavery.”
“Upon reading an article from The New York Times and the 1619 Project, we realized that the use of the words slave, slave owner and plantations are dehumanizing to the descendants of enslaved people and continue the institutional racism that was propagated back then to justify slavery.”
The 1860 census records show that Buncombe County had 1,907 slaves and 283 slave owners. Yet even today, some local historians say people are unaware that slavery existed in WNC.
“The irony that the supporters of the Lost Cause claim to oppose the rewriting of history is that in many cases, they were the ones who rewrote that history.”
“Now, people like Cox, by her writings and lectures, have incited individuals to do such things as to deface the plaque to Gen. Robert E. Lee at the Vance Monument.”
From textbooks to newspapers, from monuments to public orations, the Lost Cause narrative sought to present the Confederates’ wartime efforts, not as one of defeat, but heroism in the face of great odds. The campaign also aimed to reimagine slavery as both a benign and beneficial institution.
“I would imagine the North Carolinians who lived with generations of deprivation would have a very different opinion about what that flag represents. All that suffering for an anachronistic economic system that was already unsustainable as the world headed toward the 20th century.”
“If we remove the Vance name and plaque, we will dispose of all positive and negative connotations imposed upon it. We will reduce it to its purest form — an obelisk of stone, sun and shadow. Now the monument is free.”
” I think we should put out a request for proposals from artists and community members, and create a panel of local activists, artists and historians to assess them. Get the new equity manager involved. Something fitting and beautiful will come out of that.”
“Tolerating monuments such as the Vance obelisk teaches young people that the ownership of slaves was not important and certainly nothing to be considered shameful. But it is important and it is shameful, particularly in Asheville, where the ideal of social equality is so widely embraced.”
“Finally, if we are to remember our history as it actually happened, we need to place equally large monuments for those who suffered generations of brutal enslavement near every Confederate monument.”