In a move that Commissioner Amanda Edwards says honors the newly adopted Strategic Plan, Commissioners approved the removal of two Confederate statues and formation of a task force to deliberate the future of Vance Monument. “Removing monuments does not erase history. What it does is remove the constant visual reminder of a system that didn’t treat African Americans as equitable,” stated Commissioner Edwards during her presentation to the Board on June 16. “We have much work to do in order to undo and address racial and systemic inequities. We must be committed to listening to those most impacted by inequality… to make our community more inclusive, fair, and just.” In regard to the Strategic Plan, Commissioner Edwards noted the Board is committed to equity, and removal of these monuments is in line with that goal.
The resolution (approved 4-3) is a partnership with the City of Asheville, which approved its resolution last week. The following monuments are owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the resolution gives the organization 90 days to remove the monuments before the City and County take action:
- A memorial monument honoring the 60th Regiment of North Carolina Confederate soldiers located in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse
- A memorial monument known as the Robert E. Lee Dixie Highway, Colonel John Connally Marker located in Pack Square Park
In regard to the Vance Monument, a 12-member task force (six people each appointed by the County and City) will consider removing, relocating, or repurposing it. During a three-month period, the task force will take public input and create a report to be shared with both governing bodies that will provide a recommendation for the future of the monument.