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My turn, Caroline Johnsen: NAACP, other groups renew call for removal

By Caroline Johnsen

This is the joint statement of Salisbury Indivisible, Women for Community Justice and Salisbury-Rowan NAACP calling for the removal and relocation of the statue “Fame.”

This statement was originally presented to Salisbury City Council on April 2.

Today, our position remains the same: Move Fame.

We call on the city to create the opportunity for citizens to gather with elected officials to present concerns regarding this statue and hear a full and transparent accounting of the city’s position on land ownership, easement, the validity of the 1927 resolution and other historical and present-day details regarding the statue.

The statue has been vandalized twice in seven months.

And after the most recent vandalism, an African-American member of the media was doused with a bucket of water.

It has become impossible to preserve the statue or protect public safety at its current location. The city should work swiftly with the private owner to relocate the statue to an appropriate site where it can be displayed with historical context.

We stand together and call on the city to remove the statue from the heart of our city.

Store it temporarily for the safety of the public and of the statue itself, and begin immediate plans to relocate the statue to an appropriate site, working with state legislators and filing a formal request with the North Carolina Historical Commission if necessary.

We stand together and demand the city demonstrate that Salisbury is home to all its citizens.

We stand together and call upon the City to provide a forum to discuss further action regarding this statue that casts a shadow on our community and has become a public safety concern.

We stand together and urge the city to pass a resolution of intent to remove and relocate “Fame,” following the example of cities throughout the South that have chosen the right side of history.

Forward, together. Not one step back.

Caroline Johnsen is a Salisbury Indivisible member and submitted this statement on behalf of that group, Women for Community Justice and the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP.

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