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.