Posted on May 28, 2024

Confederate Monument to ‘Faithful Slaves’ Must Be Removed, North Carolina Residents’ Lawsuit Says

Associated Press, May 21, 2024

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks the removal of a Confederate monument marked as “in appreciation of our faithful slaves” from outside of a North Carolina county courthouse.

The Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell County, a civic group focused on issues facing local Black residents, and several of its members filed the lawsuit against the county’s commissioners. The legal complaint argues that the monument constitutes racially discriminatory government speech in violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

Tyrrell County includes a few thousand residents in eastern North Carolina. The monument, which was erected on the courthouse grounds in 1902, features a Confederate soldier standing atop a pedestal, with one of the markings below mentioning “faithful slaves.” The lawsuit argues that the monument conveys a racist and offensive message that Black people who were enslaved in the county preferred slavery to freedom.

“The point of putting such a monument near the door of the Tyrrell County Courthouse was to remind Black people that the county’s institutions saw their rightful place as one of subservience and obedience, and to suggest to them that they could not and would not get justice in the courts,” the lawsuit argues.