War Memorial Separates Dead by Race, Divides Southern City

Jeffrey Collins, ABC News, February 6, 2015

Along Main Street in a small South Carolina city, there is a war memorial honoring fallen World War I and II soldiers, dividing them into two categories: “white” and “colored.”

Welborn Adams, Greenwood’s white Democratic-leaning mayor, believes the bronze plaques are relics of the South’s scarred past and should be changed in the spirit of equality, replaced like the “colored” water fountains or back entrances to the movie theater that blacks were once forced to use.

Yet the mayor’s attempt to put up new plaques was blocked by a state law that brought the Confederate flag down from the Statehouse dome in 2000. The law forbids altering historical monuments in any way without approval from legislators.

Historians, black and white, have reservations about replacing the plaques, saying they should serve as a reminder of the once-segregated U.S. military.

“Segregation was the accepted social order of that time,” said Eric Williams, who spent 32 years as a historian with the U.S. Park Service. “If we alter the monument, we alter its historical integrity.”


Adams said he asked other South Carolina mayors and doesn’t know of any other similar memorials in the state. Several historians also said they haven’t heard of a monument where fallen soldiers are separated by race.

About a year ago, American Legion post members asked the mayor if he thought he could raise $15,000 privately to change the monument. He was so sure he could, he took out a loan to pay for the new plaques so they could be dedicated on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Forty-three donors, almost all white, came through with the money. Adams wrote a $1,000 check himself.

But there was opposition, in part because of a quote from the mayor in a December story in The Index-Journal of Greenwood. “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible,” Adams said.

The mayor acknowledged he didn’t choose his words carefully. He later said he meant that while history doesn’t change, the way a community presents itself does.

Days before the King Day ceremony, opponents threatened to try to have Adams arrested–perhaps on a misconduct in office charge–if he went forward with the new plaque. The mayor said he cried in his office when the city’s lawyer told him that opponents were right about the law.

“I wonder if some of the opposition is racism hiding behind history,” said Adams, who was elected mayor in 2008 in this city of 23,000, where about 45 percent of the population is black.


A bill has been filed to change the Greenwood memorial and half of the members of the state Senate are listed as sponsors, but some legislators who helped craft the Confederate flag law are leery to bring the divisive issue up again.


Williams, the former Park Service historian, has been one of the most vocal critics. Williams, who is white, wants to see a small display nearby saying the military was segregated back then and that’s why the names are listed the way they are.

Activist Joseph McGill, who spends the night in old slave cabins to get attention to preserve them, agrees. He says talk about switching plaques reminds him of schools that don’t want students reading “Huckleberry Finn” because racially offensive language from the 1800s is in the book.


The mayor planned to put the old plaques in the county museum. For now, they remain on the monument and the new ones sit in City Hall storage, waiting for the Legislature to act.

“I am fully aware this is much tougher than I ever expected,” Adams said. “But it’s the right thing to do.”

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  • dd121

    So divide them into cooks/drivers and war fighters. Same difference.

    • Pontifex Minimus ©

      This is a dogmatic principle of liberalism on display here. If you don’t like a particular truth of history, just re-write it to fit your current egalitarian ends.

      • LHathaway

        generally that means making things out to be ‘worse’ than they really are. but let’s not pretend they don’t make things up entirely.

      • TheHBD

        Great point…it all fits in with the vision held by Communists that the past has to be totally erased. The Khmer Rouge declared the fist year after their rise to power as ‘Year 1’

  • Leave it as is. It will be proof to future historians that we were once sane.

    • Pontifex Minimus ©

      Kind of like “The Birth of a Nation” does…

      • Paleoconn

        Which reminds me, yesterday was the 100th anniversary of its first airing.

        • Lord Sandwich

          I know you meant theatrical debut.

          • Paleoconn

            I did, thank you.

        • Once cops get universal body cameras, that will provide us with enough footage such that we can cobble together Birth of a Nation II without much effort.

  • MartelsGhost

    “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible,” Adams said.

    This statement alone is proof of how insane the PC mindset really is……………

    IF what is or isn’t offensive is left up to subjective definition, then there a whole lot of stuff I’d like to change. Let’s start with all the lies about black inventors………………

    • Alexandra1973

      What black inventors? LOL

      • MartelsGhost

        Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

        Now, let’s move on to fictitious black military “accomplishments” that offend me……………….

  • MekongDelta69

    “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible…” – Welborn Adams

    “I think if the outcome of the voting for mayor of Greenwood offends me, we should vote again, and again, and again – until we get it right.” – MD69

    • Alexandra1973

      The outcome of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections offended just about all of us here, I’d say.

  • david dorian

    The mayor’s comment is straight out of Orwell;s 1984

    Just disgusting coercion and cynicism for freedom and truth.

    • Sick of it

      Even worse, it comes from a POS not elected mayor until 2008. But he has the right to rewrite the history of that town? Is he even from the South, let alone the state, the county, and the town in question? Who do these dirtbags think they are!? God?

  • Luca

    Soon they’ll purge all references from the history books that might actually indicate that White people died to end slavery, they’ll say the Underground Railroad was invented, organized and managed by blacks and all abolitionists were feed slaves.

    • TheMaskedUnit

      They already managed to gloss over the fact that slavery continues but only in the absence of sufficient numbers of white Christian people.

    • 1G25

      White people died to trash the 10th Amendment.

      The Emancipation Proclamation was an 1863 afterthought, a sop to Europeans to help assure they didn’t come in on the side of the invaded sovereign States.

      • The E.P. was actually quite selective; it only freed southern slaves, but not those in Maryland or Kentucky, which had remained in the union. Those were only freed by the 13th Amendment.

      • UncleSham

        The 10th is my favorite Amendment. I wish it still meant something.

    • ejXinMI

      Yep. They already re-name the public schools. Jefferson High School becomes M.L. King Academy and so on. Stay tuned, the “pre-game” coverage of blasting Mt. Rushmore to smithereens is about to start.

      • “Martin Luther King Career and Success Academy”, where the students murder each other over “afawete” shoes and gang-rape the co-eds. The good news is that this sort of re-branding acts as very useful advertising to anyone in their right mind, rather like renaming Rhodesia “Zimbabwe”. Everyone knew how that would turn out.

        • Albert

          Meh, it’s ok if the students do god awful things. They can easily point out that the acts were caused by white racism and that we are the ones who should be terribly ashamed for what the students have done : |

    • Gunter Mabuse

      I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to find that if you polled random blacks on the street, especially those in “urban” areas like Detroit and Chicago, a substantial minority would be completely ignorant of what it actually was. The rest would claim that it was an underground subway system, invented by blacks, that ran from Jackson, MS to Toronto, Canada. They would probably also claim that it was destroyed by whitey during Sherman’s march to the sea, to make blacks look ignorant and useless.

  • LexiconD1

    The ‘schools’ can change all the facts it want to, to suit them. But, with the internet, libraries, and at home reference materials (everyone knows, or is, someone who owns a set of encyclopedias), the truth always comes out.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible,” Adams said.

    I thought sure this utterly moronic statement came out of a black mayor’s mouth. Imagine my dismay when I found out it was a white, albeit a “Democratic-leaning” one.

    Forget about learning from history. Just “rewrite” history in a way that tickles your fancy, I guess.

  • IstvanIN

    So it was mostly Whites who wanted to rewrite history. We are our worst enemy.

    • Sick of it

      As I asked above, where is the guy from? You’ll notice that a lot of the folks who push for things like this aren’t local. They come in and dictate terms to the people who have lived there for generations.

      • So long as the locals vote for these carpetbaggers, they will continue to receive the same results.

        • toldev

          You can not even identify the carpetbaggers or their sponsors. If you do, your post goes down the memory hole.

    • Speedy Steve

      Liberalism needs to be made painful. I recommend liberal application of the truncheon to their empty crania.

  • superlloyd

    The rewriting of history was a constant occupation in Orwell’s 1984. Erase the past to influence the dimwits by telling lies that coincide with the ruler’s narrative. I never thought Orwell was satirising the ‘free’ West. I thought communism was his target. How wrong I was.

    • Albert

      I keep hearing references of that book. Is 1984 worth reading?

      • Alexandra1973

        Very much so. In that book it got so you had to pretty much put on a “poker face” or else your body language could give you away.

        My mother gave me a volume containing both 1984 and Animal Farm. Both are very well worth the read.

  • forsakenamerican

    This is what the black want, is it not…..They want to be there own, fine. let them.
    We hear time and time again, and they get it, and guess what…..
    they don’t want to be on there own.
    I don’t have the answers to this problem that has flared up, no dose any one else but the handouts need to stop, so dose the special treatment to people how hate the ones taking care of them.

  • shawnmer

    “Mayor: “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible.”

    What a refreshingly honest, and chilling, answer.

    And he cries in his office when he doesn’t get his way on questions like that. Good job, voters!

    • 1G25

      The history of Central High School, North Little Rock, Arkansas, 1956, should be changed.

    • John Jackson

      No kidding. I’m more like, geez, as a Mayor of a city this guy really has nothing better to be spending his time on?


    This is who and what liberals are. They live and die, < You know, like the SPLC writer David Ruenzel who was murdered by the Homies. For the crime of being White while engaging in the offensive "White Privilege" act of hiking. ( In reality, he was murdered for believing his own lies. ) in a world of fantasy. A world of make believe that is constantly being rewritten to please whatever current whim they may have. Lying, to them is their natural state of being. Which is why they see nothing wrong with saying such an asinine statement as "I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten if possible".

    • UncleSham

      I agree with most of what you are saying, but its actually the conservatives who want to erase the memory of White Supremacy in America. Liberals tend to try and embellish it so as to get the Blacks all worked up and the Whites feeling guilty. Conservatives are the ones who always try to act like race was a meaningless and insignificant part of this country’s history.

      • John Jackson

        True, but of course we all know race matters to the left when it benefits them, and when it doesn’t benefit them race is just a social construct.

  • We could always dig up the “colored” half of the cemetery, burn the bodies and flush the ash down toilets, but that might be “offensive”. There are also things municipal water treatment plants won’t swallow.

  • benvad

    It should go back to how it was.

    • Pre-1865.

      • TheMaskedUnit

        If the South woulda won … we’d have screwed things up some other way like Canada, Europe and Australia.

      • benvad

        Whatever it takes or even before the first European slave trade started dealing in Africans. Don’t despair! I’m working on a time machine as we speak.

    • Jim Crow 2016.

  • 1G25

    They want it both ways.

    The Confederate flag…. hide it.

    Segregated memorial plaques; change them.

    Hoist with their own petard.

  • “I think if history offends people it needs to be rewritten”

    Oh, it happens all the time.

    • One of my ancestors bought a 10 year-old Cherokee girl and had her pregnant the first time when she was 12. Since that is not only disgusting, but also emotionally disturbing, do we get to rewrite that one? The fact that I wouldn’t be here would probably tidy up history even further.

      • Sick of it

        Back then people married rather young.

      • Alexandra1973

        A lot of us wouldn’t be here if kings were actually faithful to their wives, that’s how I see it.

        I just recall the passage in Genesis where Joseph tells his brothers, what you meant for evil, God used for good. Or something along that line.

  • Epiminondas

    It’s going to end the only way it can…bloodshed. One side will annihilate the other. History proves it.

    • UncleSham

      There is that one other option… miscegenation. That’s the whole point of the old “Make love, not war” slogan.

      • Alexandra1973

        You know, I never thought of it that way.

  • LHathaway

    “like the “colored” water fountains or back entrances to the movie theater that blacks were once forced to use”.

    Were Whites forced to drink from the white water fountain? Don’t White thirsts matter?

    What this town needs is Bill Clinton. He should move there to aid the healing process.

  • Kyle

    They don’t like the memorial because it shows how little blacks contributed to WWI and WWII. They’re hypocrites. If it were the other way around and a memorial for some thing portrayed blacks as the majority of some honorable cause they’d be fine with it.

    • Speedy Steve

      I can hire a stone carver to carve random negro names and post them wherever. Picture it if you can; Shitavious Washington, Daquantte Murray, LaSkivvius Odinga, etc. If you’re going to rewrite history as fiction, at least have some fun with it.

      • Kyle

        This is why that silly white man just cant seem to get it right. The black man can only be portrayed as honorable or noble… Or oppressed and victims. And the white man is only evil or exploitive… Or doesn’t exist because the white race is just a social construct and we’re all the same.

  • We’d all be speaking German or made into lampshades if we were counting on negros to win WWII. Don’t forget to the thank the Tuskegee Negro Fantasy Airmen however.

    • Speedy Steve

      They did get some help from the Navajo Code Talkers.

    • John Jackson

      I’d say Russia and the Russian winter had more to do with defeating Hitler than America. Likewise, speaking German isn’t so bad, I’m German, and I doubt any of us would be lampshades.

    • newscomments70

      The Germans didn’t kill everyone in occupied territories. That is propaganda. Jews were targets, of course, that part is true. Whites were mostly left alone, even in Eastern Europe. My friend from Russia told me that ethnic Russians were treated realtively well and were appreciated for their strength and nordic looks. Russian officers were even treated in the same hospitals as German officers during the occupation. Sometimes German soldiers stole food, but the horrific tales of rape gangs, murder and white slavery were exagerations. During nazi rule, to commit a crime against another European was the death penalty, even petty theft. I don’t want to see innocent Jews murdered, but I like the other aspects of Nazi occupation. In our time, blacks (and similar) rape white girls and women with impunity. I would support anyone who protects our women and children with such effectiveness. Hitler declared war against the US and sided with Japan. Japan wanted to do horrible things to whites in the US and Australia. That was Hitler’s major flaw. If he stayed away from Japan, our history may have changed for the better. The Allies may have assisted him in crushing bolshevism.

      • Patton should have kept going. I really do actually like Germans.

        • newscomments70

          Perhaps the Germans of old. German Americans still have traditional values, but German born Germans have become pretty far left and liberal.

    • Harry

      If you had to bet on a black unit vs. a German Volkssturm unit (old men and children), both equally armed, who would you put your money on?

  • Preparation HBomb

    The problem with revisionist history is that it’s all lies. Segregation was a fact in the South before 1965 (and I’m a Southerner) — I think it needs to be reported that way today. Do they hide the truth in the WWII memorials in Germany with regard to the blatant murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other “undesirables”? Not!!! We shouldn’t try to hide the truth of our own history, either. And, as to “offending people,” well, people CHOOSE what offends them. That is their own person responsibility. Nobody has the power to offend anyone without their cooperation. People need to grow up and recognize that this world operates on FACTS, not emotion. Feelings are NOT facts.

  • Robert Smith

    Build them a monument to peanut butter and they’ll go away.

  • Harry

    “Speed Thermometer” is as close as this black GI could get to saying “speedometer”. He was giving a class to the rest of us on the instruments inside the cab of a 2 1/2 ton truck. Lots of stenciling is done on vehicles in the Army and sometimes I would have to look hard at a stenciled word to figure out what the artist was trying to convey. This was in the early 1980s. There are many other incidences of illiteracy but I never kept a record, I just happen to remember the training on the “Speed Thermometer”.
    My father used to talk about black GIs breaking and running in the face of the enemy during the Korean War. There was one black captain (and his black driver) that were finally stopped by an MP roadblock, many miles south of where this officer’s unit was. The Army was going to convene a Court Martial for the black officer but President Truman put a stop to that.

  • Den Christe

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    If there are 5 blacks per 100 people,
    everyone applauds how integrated the community is.

    At 5-10%
    black there is an occasional spike in loudness, but it’s usually
    isolated and brief. People are usually too embarrassed to say
    anything, and it temporarily abates.

    At 10-20% black, these
    problems rise dramatically. People occasionally hear loud hip-hop
    music from a passing vehicle, usually later & later at night, as
    an outgoing signal of rising ‘blackness’ in the community.
    California — Black 10.7% (figures are 2011)
    Manhattan, New York
    — Black 12.9%

    At 20-30% black, the loudness & behavior
    is so disruptive that well-meaning families begin to stop going to
    certain public areas. Black-on-black fights occur to establish
    dominance, and fights between black females occur in parking lots,
    usually over a black male.
    Boston, Massachusetts — Black
    Tampa, Florida — Black 26.2%

    At 30-40% minor public
    incidents give way to more serious crimes, and somewhere in the
    community the first felonies occur at the hands of blacks, targeting
    the elderly or defenseless.
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Black
    Compton, Los Angeles — Black 32.9%
    Willowbrook, Los
    Angeles — Black 34.4%

    40-60% sees an atmosphere that is so
    loud, fast, & unpredictable that it interferes with peaceful
    activity. At this stage people’s gut sense of “safety” in
    the community is eroding. Anticipating the unexpected starts to
    factor into simple decisions like going to the store or getting into
    one’s car.
    Inglewood, Los Angeles — Black 43.9%
    — Black 44%
    South Chicago — Black 50.2%
    Carol City, Florida
    — Black 52.1%

    60-75% black: expect covert drug use, and
    concealed guns. Good families are moving away. At this stage hip-hop
    emanating from cars is now an advertisement for illegal drug
    Opa-locka, Florida – Black 69.6% (In 2004 Opa-locka had the
    highest rate of violent crime for any city in the United
    Ladera Heights, California — Black 73.7%
    Miami — Black 74.7%

    Now, at 75-85% black, walking down the
    street is now a risk. Find hair-trigger, unprovoked violence, usually
    targeted against those of non-black race. Calls to 9-1-1 demonstrate
    slower & slower response times. Local businesses deteriorate, as
    does the general condition of the neighborhood. The last of the
    liberal, die-hard families vacate the community whose memories they
    have cherished for decades.
    East Garfield Park, Chicago — Black
    Brightmoor, Detroit — Black 82.7%
    Gary, Indiana —
    Black 84%
    Metcalfe Park, Milwaukee — Black 84.1%
    Washington D.C. — Black 84.8%

    At 85-95% black, the public
    institutions in the area (schools, libraries, etc.) slowly wither
    from lack of use. Consumer places (food stores, day-care centers,
    etc.) show graffiti & territorial gang signs, and gang membership
    now outweighs the number of non-gang people. Drug sales &
    prostitution are open and obvious. A gunshot is heard every week. All
    businesses which are still in operation (liquor stores, stereo
    wholesalers, etc.) have bars on their windows.
    Highland park,
    Detroit — Black 93.5%
    Liberty City, Florida — Black 94.6%

    At 95-100% black, there is debris everywhere. A large number of
    dwellings are ruined or burned-out. At this stage, the economy of the
    community is nearing total collapse, and good jobs are scarce.
    Emergency services infrequently patrol for fear of risking officers’
    Bronzeville, Milwaukee — Black 96.2%
    Heights, Chicago — Black 97.2%
    Franklin Park, Florida — Black
    Englewood, Chicago — Black 100%
    The name of the
    neighborhood is now synonymous with violence & gangs. At this
    stage the spread of this condition bears characteristics similar to
    the unchecked spread of a virus, and adjacent communities begin to
    show signs of following suit.

  • Fr. John+

    Sorry. Division of groups is both biblical, and historical. Even YHWH had the Israelites make boundaries between the Elect and the ‘goyim.’ Today, you cannot be buried in an Orthodox Christian or Roman Catholic cemetery, unless you are one of the faith’s adherents. Nor can a Christian be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

    So, why should blacks think that somehow, they are different, when they keep saying, ‘We’re all the same’ and then they act unlike any civilized White Man I’ve ever known?
    Because they ARE different, and always will be. And all this race is a construct garbage, is merely yet ANOTHER ‘religion’ that would dominate and deny the real ones, any existence, even after death. Sorry, no. Thus far, and no farther. I’m done with the Multiculti heretics.