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Cornelius News

Protest rally planned at Confederate Monument

July 6. By Dave Yochum. Unity in Community is organizing a “Take Down the Monument Peaceful Protest” July 14 at the Confederate Monument in front of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius. The monument is one of the last Confederate monuments left standing in Mecklenburg County.

It has stood facing Main Street for 110 years, but only this year did the senior co-pastors of the church publicly call for the owners of the monument to move the granite column and statue.

Meanwhile, the Extended Cabinet of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church is joining Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in calling for the immediate removal of the Confederate Monument. To read their statement, click here.

Jonathan, Angela Marlowe

In June, the Rev. Dr. Angela Marlowe and the Rev. Jonathan Marlowe asked the Mt. Zion Monument Association “to consider the harm their monument causes to our Black brothers and sisters.”

Their formal letter said they stand ready to assist them “as they go about the hard process of listening to their neighbors.”

The monument association, led by Statesville resident Donald Archer, responded two days later: “In today’s politically charged climate, many people do not view this memorial as a significant and valuable piece of history. Due to this climate, the association is exploring all options available to protect and save this significant part of the history of Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina.”

Archer at monument after it was vandalized

Unity in Community, which received the LKN Chamber Diversity Champion award in 2018, urged the Monument Association “to proceed in due haste to do the right thing and take down the monument, freeing the community once and for all from this oppressive symbol of White Supremacy over our black brothers and sisters.”

The peacefully rally July 14 starts at 6 pm and ends at 7.

Archer and the monument association did not respond.

Then, last week, the Administrative Board of Mt. Zion, the overall governing body of the historic church, also called for the immediate removal of the statue which has been vandalized twice since 2015.

There’s no word from the monument association, but leaders of Unity in Community say they want the July 14 to be a “peaceful protest.”

Confederate Soldier

“We hope those who support justice for all will come out,” said Sue Rankin-White, one of the leaders of Unity in Community and the protest.

“We look forward to the day that residents of and visitors to Cornelius can walk and drive across town without having to be reminded of the hate, oppression, family separation, and brutality represented by this monument,” she said.

The monument includes a Confederate soldier standing at parade rest, with his rifle resting on the ground, as well as the Confederate battle flag.

Unity in Community has met with Cornelius Police officials including Chief Kevin Black, and were informed they do not need a permit for the protest.