Two protestors are arrested after placing a KKK robe on a Confederate statue.
Jody Michael Anderson, 22, and Enzo Moretti Niebuhr, 18, two protestors from Raleigh, North Carolina, were recently arrested after they dressed a Confederate statue with Ku Klux Klan robes during a demonstration being held at the State Capitol.
Police said Anderson and Niebuhr, 18, yelled profanities, shouting, “Racist statues have to go!” while climbing on the Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy. Once at the top, the protestors cloaked the statue in “white KKK style hoods in an act of defiance,” according to the police report. The two men were charged with disorderly conduct including the use of abusive language and defacing a public building or statue.
Anderson and Niebuhr were part of a larger group of protesters rallying against Confederate statues in the Capitol. The seven-foot-tall Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy served as a meeting place for the protests and is meant to represent the “hardships and sacrifices of North Carolina women during the Civil War.”
The statue is comprised of a figure of an elderly woman who represents “women in the South as the custodians of history,” and a boy, to whom the woman “imparts the history of the Civil War” as she reads a book, according to The American Legion.
Activist group Smash Racism Raleigh released a statement in an effort to explain the men’s intention in dressing the figure, which it said was “to properly contextualize the statue’s role in perpetuating white supremacy and reinforcing both Jim Crow era and modern racist violence and oppression.”
This isn’t the first time The Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy has been the target of vandalism. It has been targeted at least twice in the past. Police arrested another man just a couple of months prior, in March of this year, for placing a Ku Klux Klan hood on the statue. Back in 2015, it was spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter.”
In April 2018, three people in Raleigh were charged after toppling a Silent Sam, a Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to the ground, and protests against Confederate statues have been an issue in other states, too. In March, the student body at the University of Mississippi voted unanimously to remove a longstanding statue of a Confederate soldier from the main campus.
In Arkansas, a statue sitting at the entrance to the Jefferson County Courthouse commemorating Confederate Civil War casualties has been the subject of discussion lately and could be removed one day soon. County Judge Gerald Robinson, who is African American, said he is considering removing the statue because he believes it is an inappropriate symbol.
“I think in today’s time we’re trying to move on, especially when dealing with racial harmony,” Robinson said. “I don’t think the Confederate statue depicts our country.”
Robinson added the history reflected by the structure refers to a time in American history when slavery tore apart the nation. It evokes painful memories for many and the statue is a constant reminder of a time residents would rather forget.