Four Arrested In Destruction Of Confederate Statue In North Carolina

Cfakepathmugshots212_20170816_180608There are now four protesters arrested for the destruction of a roughly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier in North Carolina.  The bold act of property destruction was carried out in front of news cameras in broad daylight.  As a history nut, it is painful to see old works of art destroyed in this fashion. The arrested include Takiyah Thompson, 22, Dante Strobino, 35, Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, and Peter Gilbert, 39.

These individuals were clearly unwilling to join the debate over the removal of confederacy images or figures.  Instead, they destroyed not just a piece of history but a piece of art that, if the community decided in favor of removal, could have been placed in a museum or alternative setting.

Thompson climbed the ladder to help pull down the statue, which was dedicated in 1924.  She is a student at black North Carolina Central University. The three men are affiliated with the Workers World Party, which helped organize the Durham protest in response to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Notably, police spotted Tran at the court hearing for Thompson when a deputy asked him to help identify two people . Tran refused and he was arrested.

Tran later tried to excuse his destruction of the statue as warranted due to the racist society in which he lives: “Monday night hundreds of people gathered in front of the statue, and it was the will of everyone there that that statue come down knowing that in the state of North Carolina there is no legal route for removing Confederate statues.”  Of course, there is a legal route through the legislature.  What Tran and his colleagues were not willing to do is to leave it to the legislative process and the collective judgment of the citizenry.  Instead, they simply imposed their will on the majority and destroyed a historical art piece.

They are charged with Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II misdemeanor), Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I misdemeanor), 14-288.2(c) Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H felony), and 14-288.2(e) inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F felony).

454 thoughts on “Four Arrested In Destruction Of Confederate Statue In North Carolina”

  1. In these insane days — spurred by an insane president fueling anarchy —- this event needs to be seen through the lens of desperate strife that we Americans have been thrust into. This cannot be tried as a random vandalism. These 4 persons are not criminals. They are people of conscience who took action without anyone getting hurt. Now , let’s see if dumb-ass North Carolina can get it’s head out of it’s ass to process this non-crime with the necessary temperance as well as due dilligence. From a New England person (sane, moderate, peace-loving) who spent 3 + years living in central NC and will never step foot in that cesspool again. Namaste’

  2. Since this thread appears to be winding down… (My apologies, in advance, for the lengthy posting.)

    “New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s address makes it even harder to defend statues honoring the “cult of the Lost Cause.””

    Transcript of speech:

    Thank you for coming.

    The soul of our beloved city is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way—for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans—the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando de Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Color, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and central Americans, the Vietnamese, and so many more.

    You see, New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling cauldron of many cultures. There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum: out of many we are one. But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market, a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were bought, sold, and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor, of misery, of rape, of torture. America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined “separate but equal”; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp. So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well, what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

    And it immediately begs the questions, why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.

    For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth. As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other. So, let’s start with the facts.

    The historic record is clear: The Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This “cult” had one goal—through monuments and through other means—to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America. They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement and the terror that it actually stood for.

    After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy. He said in his now famous “corner-stone speech” that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

    Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us, and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago. We can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and a more perfect union.

    Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it. President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history. … On a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque, were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”

    A piece of stone—one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored. As clear as it is for me today … for a long time, even though I grew up in one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods, even with my family’s long proud history of fighting for civil rights … I must have passed by those monuments a million times without giving them a second thought. So I am not judging anybody, I am not judging people. We all take our own journey on race.

    I just hope people listen like I did when my dear friend Wynton Marsalis helped me see the truth. He asked me to think about all the people who have left New Orleans because of our exclusionary attitudes. Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth-grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? Can you look into that young girl’s eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will feel inspired and hopeful by that story? Do these monuments help her see a future with limitless potential? Have you ever thought that if her potential is limited, yours and mine are too? We all know the answer to these very simple questions. When you look into this child’s eyes is the moment when the searing truth comes into focus for us. This is the moment when we know what is right and what we must do. We can’t walk away from this truth.

    And I knew that taking down the monuments was going to be tough, but you elected me to do the right thing, not the easy thing and this is what that looks like. So relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics. This is not about blame or retaliation. This is not a naive quest to solve all our problems at once.

    This is, however, about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves, making straight what has been crooked and making right what was wrong. Otherwise, we will continue to pay a price with discord, with division and, yes, with violence.

    To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. It is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future. History cannot be changed. It cannot be moved like a statue. What is done is done. The Civil War is over, and the Confederacy lost and we are better for it. Surely we are far enough removed from this dark time to acknowledge that the cause of the Confederacy was wrong.

    And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans—or anyone else—to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person’s humanity seems perverse and absurd. Centuries-old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place. Here is the essential truth: We are better together than we are apart.

    Indivisibility is our essence. Isn’t this the gift that the people of New Orleans have given to the world? We radiate beauty and grace in our food, in our music, in our architecture, in our joy of life, in our celebration of death; in everything that we do. We gave the world this funky thing called jazz, the most uniquely American art form that is developed across the ages from different cultures. Think about second lines, think about Mardi Gras, think about muffaletta, think about the Saints, gumbo, red beans and rice. By God, just think.

    All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity. We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it! Out of many we are one — and we really do love it! And yet, we still seem to find so many excuses for not doing the right thing. Again, remember President Bush’s words. “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

    We forget, we deny how much we really depend on each other, how much we need each other. We justify our silence and inaction by manufacturing noble causes that marinate in historical denial. We still find a way to say, “Wait, not so fast.” But like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Wait has almost always meant never.” We can’t wait any longer. We need to change. And we need to change now.

    No more waiting. This is not just about statues, this is about our attitudes and behavior as well. If we take these statues down and don’t change to become a more open and inclusive society this would have all been in vain. While some have driven by these monuments every day and either revered their beauty or failed to see them at all, many of our neighbors and fellow Americans see them very clearly. Many are painfully aware of the long shadows their presence casts; not only literally but figuratively. And they clearly receive the message that the Confederacy and the cult of the lost cause intended to deliver.

    Earlier this week, as the cult of the lost cause statue of P.G.T Beauregard came down, world renowned musician Terence Blanchard stood watch, his wife Robin and their two beautiful daughters at their side. Terence went to a high school on the edge of City Park named after one of America’s greatest heroes and patriots, John F. Kennedy. But to get there he had to pass by this monument to a man who fought to deny him his humanity.

    He said, “I’ve never looked at them as a source of pride … it’s always made me feel as if they were put there by people who don’t respect us. This is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. It’s a sign that the world is changing.” Yes, Terence, it is. And it is long overdue. Now is the time to send a new message to the next generation of New Orleanians who can follow in Terence and Robin’s remarkable footsteps.

    A message about the future, about the next 300 years and beyond: Let us not miss this opportunity, New Orleans, and let us help the rest of the country do the same. Because now is the time for choosing. Now is the time to actually make this the City we always should have been, had we gotten it right in the first place.

    We should stop for a moment and ask ourselves: At this point in our history — after Katrina, after Rita, after Ike, after Gustav, after the national recession, after the BP oil catastrophe and after the tornado — if presented with the opportunity to build monuments that told our story or to curate these particular spaces, would these monuments be what we want the world to see? Is this really our story?

    We have not erased history; we are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations. And unlike when these Confederate monuments were first erected as symbols of white supremacy, we now have a chance to create not only new symbols, but to do it together, as one people. In our blessed land we all come to the table of democracy as equals. We have to reaffirm our commitment to a future where each citizen is guaranteed the uniquely American gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    That is what really makes America great and today it is more important than ever to hold fast to these values and together say a self-evident truth that out of many we are one. That is why today we reclaim these spaces for the United States of America. Because we are one nation, not two; indivisible with liberty and justice for all, not some. We all are part of one nation, all pledging allegiance to one flag, the flag of the United States of America. And New Orleanians are in … all of the way. It is in this union and in this truth that real patriotism is rooted and flourishes. Instead of revering a four-year brief historical aberration that was called the Confederacy, we can celebrate all 300 years of our rich, diverse history as a place named New Orleans, and set the tone for the next 300 years.

    After decades of public debate, of anger, of anxiety, of anticipation, of humiliation and of frustration. After public hearings and approvals from three separate community led commissions. After two robust public hearings and a 6–1 vote by the duly elected New Orleans City Council. After review by 13 different federal and state judges. The full weight of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government has been brought to bear and the monuments, in accordance with the law, have been removed. So now is the time to come together and heal and focus on our larger task. Not only building new symbols, but making this city a beautiful manifestation of what is possible and what we as a people can become.

    Let us remember what the once exiled, imprisoned, and now universally loved Nelson Mandela and what he said after the fall of apartheid. “If the pain has often been unbearable and the revelations shocking to all of us, it is because they indeed bring us the beginnings of a common understanding of what happened and a steady restoration of the nation’s humanity.” So before we part let us again state the truth clearly.

    The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered. As a community, we must recognize the significance of removing New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. It is our acknowledgment that now is the time to take stock of, and then move past, a painful part of our history.

    Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause. Anything less would fall short of the immortal words of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, who with an open heart and clarity of purpose calls on us today to unite as one people when he said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds … to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

    Thank you. -Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans

    1. anonymous – that “Lost Cause” was a winning cause until Gettysburg. As a former speech teacher, I would give it C_ tops. It is all over the place. He waved so many “bloody flags” that the speech must have been hard to read through all the red.

      It was not called the War of Northern Aggression for nothing.

  3. Please do not use the $1 $20 $50 $100 or the $500 bills as they have pictures of former slave owners on them! Send them all to me and I will dispose of them properly! DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! They need to be disposed of properly and I am a certified money disposer. Rest assured I know how to make money disappear!

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    1. allan – I have a friend who beat you to this. First come, first serve. All my white guilt money goes to her.

  4. Enigma you never did answer the question:

    Enigma writed: “Discrimination doesn’t mean what you think it does.”

    A green and a blue man are both applying to the same university whose requirements are high academic achievement because of the nature of the work. The green man has consistently been top in his class and top on the national scores.The blue man has been a relatively poor performer in both areas. The green man is rejected and the blue man gets his spot because he is blue.

    Is that discrimination? If not explain why not.

    “Everybody, however, is not in a position to be able to.”(discriminate)

    That may be true, but as I think you said “discrimination requires power. ” To which I replied “That is a good point. Power can be local. Intimidation is a form of power.” Therefore, everybody has the potential to have the power and to discriminate especially in local situations.

    If you believe otherwise explain.

  5. Everyone, sing along:

    Published on Aug 11, 2017

    Cover of Nick Lutsko’s Alex Jones tribute song produced and performed by me.

    Lyrics by Alex Jones
    I’m angry.
    I’ve had enough of these people.
    They’re a bunch of Christian murdering scum that run giant death factories keeping babies alive and selling their body parts.
    What more do you need to know about these people?
    I go out and face these scum.
    They literally crawl out from under rocks.
    They have green-looking skin and run around screaming,
    “We want to eat!
    We want to eat babies!
    We love Satan!
    We want to eat babies!
    We want to eat!
    We want to eat babies!
    We love Satan!
    We want to eat babies!”
    I have them on video.
    Hillary’s into creepy, weird, sick stuff, man.
    She sleeps in the same room with that creepy, weirdo, woman whose mother wears a hood over her head.
    What the hell?
    That woman, number one, is ugly.
    Imagine how bad she smells, man.
    I’m told her and Obama just stink.
    Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur.
    Obama just stink, but they both smell like sulfur.
    Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur.
    Obama just stink, but they both smell like sulfur.
    Literal vampire pot-belly goblins are hobblin’ around coming after us.
    My spirit gets close to that evil and I feel it go Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!
    We’re sick self-centered crap.
    We don’t even notice hell itself rising up against us.
    We’re sick self-centered crap.
    We don’t even notice hell itself rising up against us.
    Millions are pouring in.
    People of the very worst type and I’m so pissed.
    We’re gonna stab your daughter at the mall…Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!
    We’re gonna stab your wife, your son, Ooooooooooooh!
    Your wife, your son, we’re gonna stab you with a butcher knife, your son, Ooooooooooooh!
    Your wife, your son, we’re gonna stab you with a butcher knife.
    And then the police chief is gonna say,
    “We love our Somalis!
    We love our Muslims!
    Oh, they’re so good!
    Oh, they’re so sweet!
    We love our Somalis!”
    And then the police chief is gonna say,
    “We love our Somalis!
    We love our Muslims!
    Oh, they’re so good!
    Oh, they’re so sweet!
    We love our Somalis!”

  6. Absent any evidence — and spurred on by a “crackerjack PI” — “DesperatelySeeking…” jumped right on the bandwagon…

    Earlier, s/he was confused and thought that “Elaine M.” was this Elaine:

    Gotta laugh.

      1. It did indeed, Ken!

        ACLU Massachusetts

        Counter-protestors for miles! Outnumbering white supremacists by thousands. #BostonResist #FightSupremacy

  7. Here’s what Robert E. Lee thought about Confederate monuments

    However, “it’s often forgotten that Lee himself, after the Civil War, opposed monuments, specifically Confederate war monuments,” Jonathan Horn, a Lee biographer, told PBS.

    After the Civil War, Lee received several letters requesting support for the erection of Confederate memorials, according to Horn.

    In June 1866, he wrote that a monument of one of his best generals, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, wasn’t “feasible at this time.”

    In December of that year, he wrote of another proposed Confederate monument: “As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that, however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt, in the present condition of the country, would have the effect of retarding instead of accelerating its accomplishment, and of continuing if not adding to the difficulties under which the Southern people labor.”

    Not only did Lee oppose Confederate monuments, “he favored erasing battlefields from the landscape altogether,” Horn wrote.

    He even supported getting rid of the Confederate flag after the Civil War ended. He didn’t want it flying above Washington College, of which he was president after the war.

    “Lee did not want such divisive symbols following him to the grave,” Horn wrote. “At his funeral in 1870, flags were notably absent from the procession. Former Confederate soldiers marching did not don their old military uniforms, and neither did the body they buried.

    According to Horn, Lee’s daughter wrote, “His Confederate uniform would have been ‘treason’ perhaps!”

    “Lee believed countries that erased visible signs of civil war recovered from conflicts quicker,” Horn told PBS. “He was worried that by keeping these symbols alive, it would keep the divisions alive.”

    1. Evidently the word ‘feasible’ is not in your vocabulary. I’m guessing the quality of instruction at your school might have improved when you retired.

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