Halifax County divided over proposed removal of Confederate statue in front of courthouse

Local News

HALIFAX, Va. (WFXR) — August’s Board of Supervisors meeting in Halifax became a heated discussion on the Confederate monument in front of the county courthouse.

Enough was said during the public comment period to take up two hours of the meeting, and it was a divided crowd.

“People have got to realize that you had 20,000 plus black people who fought for the Confederacy,” said Pete Riddle, a resident of Halifax County and also a member of the elections planning community for the county’s District 1. “And so, people fought for their homes. I mean, this is… let’s honor these lives. Let’s not degrade them.”

Fortunately for many, the board expected a large crowd to speak on this subject and had the meeting relocated to the gymnasium at the county public school administration building to accommodate. Everyone who wanted to say something got to say something.

There were passionate speeches on both sides of the issue, and tensions reached the point where one person from the pro-statue side nearly had to be escorted out of the meeting by deputies.

Pro-statue speakers like Riddle say the monument represents history and the men who died during the civil war and is not a symbol of white supremacy.

However, those advocating for the statue’s removal, like NAACP President of the South-Boston/Halifax chapter Barbara Coleman-Brown, say a courthouse should not have a monument that represents a lost cause outside its doors.

“It represents a part of history that needs to be in a museum somewhere, not one that needs to be supported by the young taxpayers,” said Coleman-Brown.

Only time will tell to determine whether or not the statue will remain in front of the courthouse, and both sides seemed determined to come out on top of the issue.

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