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Stonewall Jackson statue relocation lacks second vote

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:20 PM EDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The Harrison County commissioners voted on whether to keep the statue of Stonewall Jackson in front of the courthouse Wednesday.

On June 17, the first vote against removing the confederate general’s statue was 2-1 to keep it where it is. The motion to reconsider the previous vote for the removal of the statue died Wednesday for a lack of a second vote.

The meeting was accompanied by Zoom, but was used to drown out certain voices.

Last month, President of the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival James Griffin urges the statue’s removal.

“I thought today’s decision was very disappointing I think that history has been distorted by some people that don’t have their facts as to why Stonewall Jackson fought for the confederacy,” said Griffin.

The statue was built in 1953 during the civil rights movement. Local historians have said it went up discreetly and likely was constructed to intimidate minorities.

Clarksburg residents argue the decision should be made by the people of Clarksburg.

“”It should be here, we learn from history, we don’t destroy history, he fought for what he believed in, he’s a veteran, he’s a declared veteran by the united states government, I’m a veteran, I back every veteran no matter what color, no matter what they do. If they are right, I will stand with ‘em,” said Ed Way.

Residents are adamant about the monuments history to West Virginia.

“You’re not better than Hitler if you take our history away from us,” said Way.

Passionate voices took a stand against the relocation of the Stonewall Jackson monument.

“Let us decide what we do with it, we love him, we love everybody in this country. I don’t care if your black, white, brown or anything, you’re an American,” said Way.

Commissioner David Hinkle was in favor of the removal says the status does not represent what Harrison County stands for which is an all inclusive community.

“And I think the state and the county try to promote that and so my motion is to still find a new location for the statue,” said Hinkle.

With so many statues across the country coming down -- the process will take communication, patience and commitment.

“The time is right to do the right thing,” said Griffin.

Griffin tells us while he is disappointed about how the vote turned out -- there’s still hope and there is still opportunity for change.

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