Editorial: Speak out now as lawmakers reconfigure districts

Editorial: Speak out now as lawmakers reconfigure districts
August 24
05:00 2017

The grand solar eclipse is over. All the excitement has come and gone. The money made on people wanting to see and commemorate the hugely popular event is in the pockets of many.

The eclipse excitement took away some of the luster from the Charlottesville, Virginia, fatal event in which a woman was killed and two state police officers in a helicopter crashed and died as white supremacists fought with peaceful marchers. Now, nationwide and in Winston-Salem, people are having vigils and memorial services, praying for peace and love and commemorating the slain woman, who was killed when a car crashed into a crowd in Charlottesville.

In Winston-Salem, attention has centered around the statue saluting Confederates, as in the Civil War. It has been defaced and celebrated and prayers for peace and love have drifted across the street from it.

This outpouring of emotion is a huge contrast to the little attention paid to the statue a little over two years ago, when The Chronicle reported about that same Confederate statue at the corner of Liberty and West Fourth streets. It sits beside the former Forsyth County Courthouse, where it’s been since it was erected in 1905.

There was no peep about the statue in July 2015 when The Chronicle reported that the local United Daughters of the Confederacy James B. Gordon Chapter, who erected the statue more than a century ago, still owned it.

There was no peep in 2015 when The Chronicle reported that state lawmakers were about to make a state law that would bar local governments from removing any Confederate monuments and symbols. This action came after South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from the top of the State House in Columbia. That action came about after nine church folk were killed in Charleston, S.C., by a man who revered the Confederate flag and white supremacy.

In 2015, the GOP General Assembly majority proceeded to pass the bill that would take away more authority from local governments and shield statues that now many people want moved.

The lesson here is that people need to keep abreast of what is happening in their governments and their world. It’s easier to stop something before it starts. Now there are cries to repeal the law that protects Confederate statues on public property. Now people want to figure out how to move the Confederate statue in Winston-Salem from private property.

The GOP-led General Assembly is now working to reconfigure its senatorial and representative districts. Speak up now about this action so that you won’t have to wish you had months or years from now.

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WS Chronicle

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