Six years after the unimaginable shooting of nine souls in Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, S.C., four years after the racist march in Charlottesville and five months after the Trump led insurrection by white supremacists, the Confederate monument on Main Street in Salem still stands.
I have written the Board of Supervisors. I have written Roanoke County's Administrator. After feeble attempts to explain their position, nothing has been done. The statue still stands, and at the entrance to Roanoke College no less.
I am a Roanoke native, with many friends in the county. I visit businesses in Roanoke County when I come to the area. My African-American friends, and other African-American county residents pay their taxes, vote in elections and support the local government in its policies.
However, local officials refuse to see what African Americans see. That is, the monument is a reminder to us that the Lost Cause of the Confederacy still is alive in Roanoke County.
Honoring men and women who fought to keep our ancestors enslaved, then, over decades, attempt to keep us from gaining full citizenship, is in no way helpful in building a just and equal society. It only reinforces what you think of us.
Citizens of Roanoke County, stand up and demand that this relic of the past be removed and placed in a museum where it belongs.