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Get Hate Out of W-S promises to keep the heat on city officials

Less than 24-hours after the Jan. 31 deadline, more than two-dozen supporters of Get Hate Out of Winston-Salem gathered for a press conference to let city officials know they are waiting.

Get Hate Out of W-S promises to keep the heat on city officials
February 07
00:00 2019

Last Friday members of Get Hate Out of Winston-Salem, a local organization formed to show support of the decision to remove the Confederate statue from downtown Winston-Salem, gathered at the corner of Fourth and Liberty to keep pressure on city officials to remove the statue that depicts a Confederate solider holding a rifle.

Talks about the removal of the statue began late last year after the statue was vandalized. In response to the second case of vandalism in less than two years, city attorney Angela Caron issued a letter to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the owners of the statue, demanding the statue be removed by Jan. 31.

Less than 24-hours after the Jan. 31 deadline, more than two-dozen supporters of Get Hate Out of Winston-Salem gathered for a press conference to let city officials know they are waiting.

While standing at the foot of the statue that was erected in 1905, local activist Lillian Podlog said the statue was a symptom of hatred and white supremacy. Podlog also urged city officials to take serious strides to create more opportunities for African-Americans throughout the community.

“We are here today to keep the pressure on the city to make sure that this statue comes down. This statue is a symptom of white supremacy. White supremacy is the disease that erected it. White supremacy has kept the statue standing. And when the statue comes down, we will have dealt with a nasty side effect to this disease,” said Podlog. “‘But the systems of white supremacy will still be churning. The city and the community cannot rest until our schools are no longing failing, until we have affordable housing, until our curriculum teaches black history year-round, and until investment in black communities takes the future of those communities into account.”

Miranda Jones, another organizer for Get Hate Out of Winston-Salem, said they will remain vigilant in their pursuit to rid Winston-Salem of all forms of racism and hate.

“We plan to make it our quest to ensure that all citizens of our city receive utilization of their taxation. We plan to work to make sure the Poverty Thought Force does more than thinking. We make no claims to be the only voice of the marginalized and oppressed. We merely use our voice as a tool to tackle injustice,” Jones said.

While citizens made their point clear that they wanted the statue removed, a handful of supporters of the statue gathered at the adjacent corner armed with flags and insulting chants. Jenna Bernstein, who traveled from Florida to ensure her voice was heard, told demonstrators the statue was a war memorial and should stay.

“This is a U.S. veterans war memorial. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have never desecrated an American war memorial like this with your ignorance and your socialism. This is America, a constitutional republic,” Bernstein said.

For more than an hour protestors and supporters shouted insults across the busy street.

Although arguments did get heated at times, protests remained peaceful.

Despite a lawsuit filed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy the week it was scheduled to be removed trying to stop the city from removing the statue, Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Stanley Allen rejected the request granting the city permission to move forward with the removal process.

Although the city officials haven’t set a date or time to remove the statue, it is expected to be removed sometime this week. It is unclear if the statue will be moved to the Salem Cemetery where several Confederate soldiers are buried or placed in storage for safe keeping.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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