The Winchester Area NAACP fully supports and endorses the call by Public Defender Timothy S. Coyne of Winchester and others for removal of the Confederate statue, called Appomattox, from the grounds of the Clarke County Circuit Court house. In a motion filed Thursday (Oct. 14) in Clarke County Circuit Court, area Public Defender Coyne stated that the statue's association with the Confederacy and the "Lost Cause" undermines (the defendant's) right to a fair trial and equal protection under the law. Coyne added that a person of color most definitely feels that the statue of the Confederate soldier constructed in the era of Jim Crow to subjugate African Americans, creates an environment where he or she feels they will be treated differently because of their race.

In support of national efforts by the NAACP and other civil rights organizations for removal of Confederate statues and other symbol of racism, the Winchester Area NAACP also strongly appeal to the Winchester City Council, and the Frederick/Clarke BOS to pursue necessary legislative and other legal courses of actions to remove racial symbols from their respective jurisdictions, specifically including the removal of any version of the Confederate flag and renaming of the multitude of streets, roads and other ventures with racist identities.

Furthermore, the Winchester NAACP affirms the Valley Interfaith Council's "Appeal to the Frederick County Board of Supervisors and the Board of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation To Move the Confederate Statue" published in the Winchester Star on October 8, 2020. We draw attention to portions of that appeal.

"The old Frederick County Court House and its grounds are the heart of the City of Winchester and the surrounding Frederick County. It is central to the walking mall and has been a venue for public events, concerts, and demonstrations. It is our conviction that the heart of our city/county should be welcoming to all its citizens and visitors.

"The Confederate statue in front of the court house, erected in 1916, does not commemorate any historical event. Rather, along with many other Confederate monuments, it was erected after Reconstruction during the Jim Crow era (1890-1950). . . It is an affront and indignity to our African American citizens, and an embarrassment to many people, of all races, who seek justice and reconciliation. . . . While it remains, you are responsible for the continuation of this divisive symbol in the heart of our community. With its removal you can be a source of healing and reconciliation. Where there is a will, there is a way."

Mike Faison, president of thelocal NAACP.

(19) comments


You know in the old days we had books that told us about our history. When socialists in Germany didn't like what the books said, they burned them. When Radical Muslims in the far east saw historical monuments that were before the time of Mohammad, they destroyed them. So today anything reminding us of the past must also be destroyed? I can see the point in not honoring the southern leaders of the rebellion, but we did build a museum to help us remember the stories of slavery least we forget. It was not just slavery that was the problem, but the time after slavery that doesn't have a name - the period of discrimination. That is why the statures of Lee are troubling as they were erected in that time. But I would tread more softly with Washington and Jefferson as this was a time of change that we need to understand how the races first began to reconcile. Jefferson took a black woman as a common law wife when there was no such thing. Washington went against his overseer's desire for profit and prevented the selling off and breaking up of families. These were important landmarks in reconciliation. Huckleberry Finn was an early 1900 story suggesting the humanity of Jim, a runaway slave. People don't change overnight just as it took a very long time for self government to develop. We must not forget the past nor burn our history.


Kids, please read above to see why comprehensive public education should be of a scope wider than what is comfortable and uplifting.


By tearing down every stature that reminds us that the Democrats ran the Confederacy and the Klan, the Dems think we will forget their sins. They love racism and are now teaching it to our children in CRT. They teach that the races will never be equal and try to shame little kids based on skin color. We are one race, even the freckled ones...


Sparky, your desperation for relevancy is getting pretty pathetic.


Some call these items racist. I call them history. The whole point of history is to show you where we have been and fought through. They are meant to show the past in hopes we don't repeat them. Just like Auschwitz in Germany. They don't want it removed, it should stand as a reminder of what we did and hope to not repeat. Too many folks are on this PC band wagon. Sometimes the past has a message to tell and we best learn from and listen to it.


Jake - Completely agree with you on this one. We need to move ahead!!! We are just tired of this and need to focus on current issues and concerns such as police protection, crime, the drug war, education, medical care, and children and senior care. The list can go on.


What other country celebrates the losing side of a failed rebellion? Did you only learn about the Civil War from a statue?


I'd also like to remind "Jake" that in Germany, they don't celebrate Na-zi German history with memorial days, history months, or reenactments. They don't put up statues to fallen Na-zi leaders at courthouses, not do they weave fanciful revisions of historical and political records to paint the failed Na-zi Party as victims.

Good try, A for effort.

Old Western Man

Intolerance wrapped as virtue. Compelling.


Weird...that's exactly what the monuments placed on public spaces represent. I don't think you made the point I think you wanted to make...


As the years go by, local residents may forget how humiliating and embarrassing these statues actually are. Let's thank Mike Faison and the NAACP.


It is funny to me that all of this about status just came to life recently. Year after year you did not once have any complaints about statues. These statues did not fall on or hurt anyone being placed where they were. How about we erase all of the past from the NAACP so others would never know what they were about? Get a life and leave History alone.


So if no one ever says anything, nothing should ever be done in the future?

Catherine Giovannoni

I agree with Mr. Faison. These statues, erected to reinforce segregation and white supremacy, do not belong in our public places, especially courts which are supposed to enforce equal justice under law. We don't need statues to traitors and domestic terrorists.


Bot alert!


These statues were erected to showcase a person willing to give his life for what he believed in and not segregation or slavery, Get a life and leave History alone.


Bury both statues, face down, in a Confederate cemetery. “Here lies the Lost Cause, The Confederacy, and symbolically, racism and white supremacy. May we never forget and never repeat their error. ,


Check your family tree. They might want to bury you face down. Get a life and leave History alone.


Who is changing history? Are the books being rewritten to conform to a more heroic narrative? Are viewpoints being altered to excuse the sins of the past and make forebears look like downtrodden victims of their own choosing?

No. The choices of who deserves to be honored in a public space are being reevaluated. Sorry, Your great-great-grandparents were not heroes, they took up arms against the United States.

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