A new birth
In regard to the Confederate statue downtown, I support the decision to move it.
My great-grandfather was a private in the 17th South Carolina Volunteers in the Civil War. I have no idea why my great-grandfather enlisted other than the obvious: If you were male, white and 19 years old in South Carolina in 1861, that’s what you did.
At the end of the war he participated in the retreat from Petersburg and was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. He had three brothers in the army; one who was killed at Gettysburg, one who was with him at Appomattox and one (the company captain) who was captured and later paroled. After the war my great-grandfather married and moved to Walhalla, S.C., where he and his wife had 16 children (my grandmother was number 14). His family loved him, and his obituary describes him as “a good, substantial citizen”.
The statue could be him. But that matters far less than its social meaning. The statue was, and is, a symbol of injustice, racism and defiance.
That defiance was wrong then and it is wrong now. The city’s proposal for the location of the statue seems very appropriate. The dead should rest with the dead, and the future should herald a new birth of freedom.
I’m appalled at the recent letters from those representing the “Save Hanes Park” organization and their surrounding neighbors. They have spread untruths about the approved Reynolds High School stadium project and current members of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board and totally misrepresented the situation in general.
To start with, the multi-use facility will be built on school property, not park property. There are no changes to the park or its access points. In addition, more than 800 students spanning 15 organizations will prepare for after-school activities, practice and play on campus without traveling to off-site, sub-par “home” facilities that put them at risk.
The stadium would:
- Create equity with other county high schools that enjoy on-campus/adequate facilities, all 100-percent funded by the school system, including about $3 million in renovations to Mount Tabor’s stadium and about $3 million in renovations to Glenn High’s stadium.
- Provide safe, on-campus facilities for JV/Varsity girls and boys soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, ROTC, band, dancing boots, plus other groups without traveling off-campus (a current hardship for many students).
- Fulfill the shared dream of P.H. Hanes and Katherine Reynolds, who coordinated their land donations for both the park space and R.J. Reynolds High School.
In short, it’s just wrong to continue to subject Reynolds students to these current conditions.
All students deserve access and equity. The opponents have had their say. Now it’s time for the community at large to speak out and say, “It’s right to do, and it’s wrong to wait!”
Regarding the cancellation of “Non Sequitur” (“Journal drops offensive comic strip,” Feb. 12), it is reminiscent of when the newspaper kowtowed to Reynolds Tobacco and dropped “Doonesbury.” Let’s applaud the return of Nancy, a truly cutting edge ’toon.
The Journal will begin running “Nancy” on Feb. 24. — the editor
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