Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville attack reignites local activists' call to remove John C. Calhoun statue

The not too distant past

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 6:09 PM

click to enlarge Vice President John C. Calhoun's statue looms over Marion Square - CHELSEA HAINES FILE PHOTO
  • Chelsea Haines file photo
  • Vice President John C. Calhoun's statue looms over Marion Square
Following the horrific attack on counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., local activists plan to make their voices heard Tuesday.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the Charleston branch of the NAACP will hold a press conference at the group's Columbus Street office. Branch Vice President Joseph Darby said Monday evening that he could not yet announce the full details of the upcoming press conference, saying only that the event will focus on the events in Charlottesville and Southern heritage.

The NAACP press conference will be followed by a noon presentation by local leaders of the National Action Network, who have called for the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue in Marion Square. Calhoun is remembered as the seventh vice president of the United States and a staunch defender of slavery.

In response to the attack in Charlottesville, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg released the following statement:

"Tonight, Charleston stands with the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, and with Mayor Michael Signer, who has forcefully condemned the racist violence that broke out there this afternoon, and we join his call for an end to this violence. Our prayers are with those lost and injured, and with their families and friends. "As Charlestonians, we know the pain that Charlottesville is only now beginning to endure. We know the heartbreaking sorrow that lies in the days ahead. But we also know that the power of love can indeed conquer hate, and that the gift of grace can lift up a whole city.

"As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.'

"May light and love be with the people of Charlottesville, and may peace and grace visit their city in the difficult days to come."

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