Local News

Another local Confederate monument vandalized

Posted July 7, 2015

— For the third time in less than a week, a Confederate monument in the Triangle has been vandalized.

Someone spray-painted "Black Lives Matter" and an expletive about the Durham Police Department overnight on a memorial outside the former Durham County Courthouse on East Main Street.

Durham police officers noticed the vandalism at about 3:30 a.m. and passed word along to county officials. County crews immediately power-washed the monument to clean it up when they started their shifts at 7:30 a.m., county spokeswoman Deborah Craig-Ray said.

"The important thing is that we moved very quickly," she said. "Our biggest concern is about what was done to government property."

The security cameras in the area aren't working, Craig-Ray said, and county officials are considering adding cameras in addition to making other security changes.

Last Wednesday, a Confederate monument in Durham-owned Maplewood Cemetery was spray-painted, and the "Silent Sam" statue on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus was defaced Sunday.

Russell Robinson, an assistant professor of mass communications at North Carolina Central University, went to the courthouse early Tuesday to see the vandalism for himself. He said such actions are not what the "Black Lives Matter" movement is about and that people need to find more productive ways to voice their opinions.

"My goal in coming out was to actually take a picture of it myself and put it on my social media account and say this is not appropriate," Robinson said. "This only escalates the situation only further. We could possibly now see other institutions regarding African-Americans and others marginalized could be impacted. I would hate to come to my campus and see someone do something like this ... I would hate to find out synagogues are vandalized in this manner."

But Rodrigo Dorfman, a filmmaker who took part in some Black Lives Matter protests, called whoever defaced the courthouse memorial a "patriot."

"I have a problem with the use of the term 'vandal' for people using graffiti to express their opinions on monuments that have represented racism," Dorfman said. "It is not my place to tell people to judge or criticize how oppressed people of color are expressing their forms of resistance, their outrage, their struggle or fight."

Such monuments need to be removed from public property, he said.

"It is time for all the monuments that represent racism, murder and genocide in America to be taken down," he said. "They need to be taken down as part of an overall movement towards doing a self-accounting to what it means to live in a society that has institutional racism built into its fiber."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Stephen Believable Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    If you can get a monument built for that, then do it. Sounds like an awesome story.
    Probably not cool to have one depicting the act of killing people, though.
    Also, hang it up, dude. People feel ways about stuff. Quit reading into it. Some people like the confederate monuments. They're not liking them AT you, or AGAINST you, or anyone else.
    Live and let live. Get over yourself. You're really not that important, youre not special, neither is anyone else. People are just trying to live their lives. Focus on living yours instead of theirs... you may find yourself happier for it.

    The overwhelming majority of people don't like the confederate flag for the reasons you hate it.

    Example: I dont like you, but I dont hate ya for it.

  • William James Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Confederate = Treason and Anti-US memorials on legal buildings, then justifying it by saying its our history or heritage. Ok, if its all about "Heritage", well my ancestors were Indian and blacks kidnapped, forced into labor camps, and murdered by the confederate army and home guard and we took their guns killed them, the judges, police, and others who supported them. So, lets have a Monument on the NC Supreme Court showing a band of Indian and blacks killing their white oppressors. What's wrong Jimmy Earl its about our states history, its our Heritage right? I don't know why you would be offended by a monument honoring the bravery of these men who shot and killed your racist and murderous forefathers.

  • Bob Goulet Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Could we get The Rev. Barber to help find the culprits???

  • Robert Batchelor Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


  • Dan May Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Funny, the northern dominated left and media is still trying to tell the south what to believe and how to behave. They seem to have the rulebook on what it means to be an American. What ever happened to live, and let live? If the south and its culture, traditions, and history are so despised, why not move back up to New Jersey or Massachusetts and enjoy your paradise. Why come here and spray paint our grave markers and public memorials? Sheesh...

  • Norman Lewis Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    Our Southern Heritage is not defined solely by slavery or perceived racist attitudes. We have traditions that do not involve beer drinking and riding around in pick-ups yelling and waving the rebel flag as is the image usually promoted by media outlets that want to promote racial division and conflict for their own financial gain.

  • Norman Lewis Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    This monument has been there for years just now certain people not brave enough to express themselves legally, out in the open, using the phrase of the day, deface public property. You get no respect from me for your feelings. This is probably the work of some immature person trying to get in on the emotions of the media enhanced events.

  • Gary Hutson Jul 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    But isn't that exactly how the United States came about?

  • Ray Lee Smythe Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Rodrigo Dorfman needs to be removed from America. He's a threat to national security.

  • Clester Faircloth Jul 7, 2015
    user avatar

    We will always have people to do vandalized of all kinds. If we may they clean the mess they made, you may not see this as much!