Local News

Cumberland schools cancel event with Lafayette mascot over slavery

Posted September 7

This poster was promoting an iniative in Cumberland schools.

— Cumberland County’s interim schools superintendent this week canceled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a school environmental initiative because the program’s mascot, Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette, owned slaves.

“I think in lieu of what’s going on around the nation and the sensitivity to issues concerning the history of slavery in the country, there was concern there that it may be offensive to some members of our community,” Superintendent Tim Kinlaw said, citing recent protests and violence surrounding Confederate Civil War monuments.

Biographers say Lafayette, a Frenchman who was a major general in the Continental Army, was an abolitionist who purchased slaves with the intent of freeing them. In 1783, Fayetteville was the first of several towns in America to be named for him, and he visited with fanfare in 1825. Lafayette died in 1834, 27 years before the Civil War.

According to The Fayetteville Observer, Lafayette was to be the mascot of “Flip-Tap-Stack!” which is an effort to teach school children to empty the trash from their disposable cafeteria trays into trash cans and stack the trays for disposal.


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  • Norman Lewis Sep 20, 1:05 p.m.
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    Using Liberal Logic, we should reject the US Constitution because some of the signers were slave owners. Oh, anyone from that time in history should be rejected and vilified because some of them had slaves. Rejection of historical figures based on a single bit of data about them is beyond ridiculous. Revisionist history is dangerous to the truth. What happened, happened and no amount of statue removal will change one single item of historical fact.

  • Colin Burch III Sep 18, 12:05 p.m.
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    Again it is shown that people who do not know history are doomed to do stupid things. This issue also shows the great amount of misinformation taken as fact. Lafayette was not the only abolitionist to purchase slaves to be able to free them. They had the vision to see the future and work towards it. Now ignorance wants to demonize Lafayette.

  • Sheila Moore Sep 11, 12:27 p.m.
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    Ridiculous. You can't judge historical figures through current understanding.

  • Robert Williams Sep 8, 1:15 p.m.
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    This is getting out of hand.

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Sep 7, 8:27 p.m.
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    More liberal cowards

  • Clif Bardwell Sep 7, 4:05 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Speaking of people who need history lessons, Lincoln did not own slaves, ever. Not as a civilian, not as a senator, not as president. For most of his life he was ambivalent on the issue, but he never owned any slaves personally.

  • Tim Orr Sep 7, 3:50 p.m.
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    This supe needs a history lesson. Either go back to school or resign. ABRAHAM LINCOLN owned slaves....perhaps we should remove the 13th amendment since it was Championed by a slave owner. Better yet...keep this up and perhaps we can start actually enforcing the amendment the way it was written...."Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." BLM beware.

  • Robert Williams Sep 7, 2:36 p.m.
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    Geez....this is getting ridiculous!!

  • Rudy Bizzell Sep 7, 2:18 p.m.
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    Mister Bo With that a good one have to put in memory bank

  • Gene Stoeckley Sep 7, 2:03 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Definitely need to raze the market house to be compliant. Probably should also bury the historic site on Arsenal avenue under concrete just to be on the safe side.