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One News Now

Avery County Historian Speaks Out Against Removing Confederate Memorials and Statues of Other Historical Figures

Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
September 1, 2017

George Washington Statue, Capitol Grounds, Raleigh

AVERY, CO. – Michael C. Hardy is a veteran Civil War Historian. He studied at the University of Alabama and went to Pine Hills Christian School (now Central Florida Christian Academy). He currently lives in Crossnore, which is in Avery County.

Michael is an award-winning author of more than twenty books on the Civil War, Appalachia, and other aspects of history. He lectures extensively across the eastern United States and occasionally teaches college continuing education classes.

Michael and his wife Elizabeth, who is a senior instructor of English at Mayland Community College, homeschool their children and use the abundance of historical sites and museums to supplement their children’s education.

Recently, Michael wrote a powerful Letter to the Editor of the Avery Journal. Its content is an apt rebuke to those currently working to remove Confederate Memorials and other statues of historical persons.  Michael wrote:

There is an insanity gripping our nation. Our shared history is no longer deemed important. Vandals, professing they are against hate, have struck monuments such as the one to Christopher Columbus in Baltimore, one to Joan of Arc in New Orleans, and the statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham.

There are movements underfoot to change the names of streets in Charlotte and buildings in Durham. At what point do malcontents dig a little more deeply into our history for their vindictive actions?

The majority of the counties in North Carolina are named for Revolutionary War figures important in our state’s history. William Lenoir fought at the battle of King’s Mountain, as did Joseph McDowell. Benjamin Lincoln, Samuel Ashe, Edward Buncombe, Richard Caswell, Benjamin Cleveland, William Davidson, Nathaniel Greene, and even our own Waightstille Avery, all served honorably during the American Revolution, and in some cases, continued to lead North Carolina in the years that followed. They built our state. And a number of the lot were slave owners.

Should all these counties be renamed? Should Avery County be forever known as North Carolina County #100?

We are entering upon a slippery slope. If the dissidents want to remove statues to Robert E. Lee in Virginia, and U.S. Grant in New York (which they do), what is to keep them from removing monuments like those to World War II and others found on Avery Square, in the heart of Newland.

Our governor has already publicly called for the removal of statues from the Capitol grounds in Raleigh. Please contact our legislators in Raleigh and tell them that our history is important to you.

In a 2015 article titled, Digging Up Confederate Bones Would Only Make America Worse, David French, a writer for National Review, has rightly argued:

“[L]et’s fast-forward and imagine an increasingly plausible future where Confederate memorials are piles of rubble, Confederate bones are interred in landfills, and Confederate flags linger on mainly as fading stickers on a few mud-covered pickup trucks — will America be a better nation? Will a single inner-city school improve? Will we have taken a single meaningful step toward finding a way to responsibly end mass incarceration? Will community and police relations improve, at all? Will the leftist urban elite stop oppressing the liberal urban poor?

Michael C. Hardy

“Of course not. In fact, by screaming ‘Squirrel!’ at the top of their lungs, the social-justice warriors would have been rewarded with yet another round of pop-culture accolades and are empowered to engage yet another target. And, at the end of the day, America will be more ignorant, the cultural Left will be more self-righteous, and our nation’s history will be viewed as an infinitely malleable tool for delivering only Left-approved messages to the hearts and minds of our citizens.”

Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, has said, “You can be certain in anticipation of the next election this hot-button issue is likely to grow to a fever pitch. The Governor and his cohorts will use this to hammer Republicans to repeal a law passed in 2015 that says none of these monuments belonging to the state may be taken down without the approval of the legislature and the North Carolina Historical Commission. Any lawmaker unwilling to vote for repeal will be hammered as a bigot or a racist. It’s the same strategy they used on HB 2, the bathroom bill.”

Warning: To erase history is to wipe away our identity and replace it with something else. One needs to look no further than the Leftist culprits of this movement to surmise what that new identity would be, and it’s not good for America.