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'You are an obstacle'; speaker says Confederate monument should come down

'You are an obstacle'; speaker says Confederate monument should come down

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Extras for the movie “Evolution” being filmed in Newton wait for their call as they lean against the Confederate monument at the 1924 Courthouse Square.

Colby Dagenhart wants Catawba County leaders to move the Confederate memorial statue in downtown Newton. He made that clear in remarks to the county board of commissioners on Monday.

“This statue will come down,” Dagenhart said to the board. “Whether it takes a month, a year, 10 years or 100 years. You are an obstacle that we will overcome.”

Dagenhart spoke during the public comment portion of the board meeting. He spoke about the history of slavery in the U.S., starting in 1619, the year the first slaves were brought to this nation.

“This was a turning point in American history,” he said. “A point that led us on a horrible path in which we could never return.”

Dagenhart said some people want to paint over the history of discrimination and slavery.

“What fascinates me is the desire to portray American history as one without faults but at the same time, wanting to keep a statue up honoring soldiers and leaders who threatened the existence of a unified union,” he said.

Removing the statue is a challenge he hopes the community will come together to face and overcome, Dagenhart said. He asked the commissioners to help make the county a better place by removing it.

“You know better than to think people do not use this statue as a defense for their racism,” he said. “I truly believe all of you know the statue is in the wrong place, where people of color drive and walk by on a daily basis. … I ask all of you to serve in your offices with compassion, respect and the belief of representing all Catawbans, including our large minority communities.”


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