The intent of the governing boards of the City of Asheville and Buncombe County that the Vance Monument be replaced or altered in such a manner, as “to honor the local history of African Americans” is the greatest piece of poppycock that I have ever heard, and is obscene.
The local history of the African American community has nothing to do with the place of prominence of the Cenotaph of Governor Vance. The Historic Black District lies just a stone’s throw way, and has been abdicated by the so-called black business and religious ” leaders” who owned a lion’s share of the properties that was supposed to be revitalized under the Eagle Market Street Development Plan; under the guise that this process would begin with the help of the City and County if the area was rid of the lawlessness that was pervasive in the area.
And , with the help of Police Chief Will Anarino, and my leadership at the NAACP; whose office was located in the Cultural Center; we completed that charge… only to see a complete “sell-out” of that goal after the illegal election against my Presidency took place. Why? Because like Trump; "I was draining the swamp". Even the YMI Cultural Center that for years served as the Minority component that attracted funds in State and National Cultural Arts area is basically NO MORE.
This is where the local history of the black community was highlighted during and shortly after Jim Crow under the leadership of 9 designated black churches who held its deed of ownership, and let fall in disarray financially. The Cultural Center is now a Bar & Grill; no longer administrated under black leadership, and very little black community participation. This is the greatest travesty done to cultural activities in the African American community.
The Vance Monument has NEVER posed any harm to the black community. This attack is just another reconstruction modus operandi assault on Southern history using black folks as the weapon of choice against the white community.
I discovered the ulterior motives of the race hustlers actually working AGAINST the black community in my work with the Joint Asheville – Buncome Co. Office of Minority Business. I was able to secure a NAACP seat on its Community Board, and in that position, served on the Joint City & County Committee that rewrote the Minority Business Plan. There I learned about the Community Re-Invest Act that would allow Banks to fund various minority business ventures; only to be informed by the late, Honorable City Councilman and Vice President of 1st Citizens Bank, Rock McClure, that the National Office of the NAACP had told National Banks NOT to provide monies directly to communities they served , but INSTEAD to give the money to the National NAACP for distribution. My black business community never saw a dime of that. Race problems, poppycock! SHAKEDOWN.
This task force is nothing more than an attempt to finish what the reconstruction of the South failed to accomplish the first time and to justify the continuous attack on the heritage and culture of the Southern people using unsuspecting blacks as the weapon of choice. Who will take the blame for this unholy act??? Black southerners. Then once again ushering in hate against our people, something that black civil rights organizations (Pole Bearers Organization, Knights Brotherhood Monumental Organization) declared that they would never let happen again!
Born and raised in this City, all I ever heard about the Vance Monument from black folk ... “Mom can you pick me up at the Vance Monument?” “Daddy can you take pictures of us in our caps and gowns at the Vance Monument?” Even when civil rights protest with sit ins occurred at S & H Kress food counter ... “We are going to protest and meet later at the Vance monument”.
Racial inequities in this City of mine and across the South are and always have been something that could be overcome with hard work, honesty and good manners. The South does not deserve the social and cultural genocide that those that don’t and won’t leave the Southern people alone continue to bring to us under the preponderance that they come to help us. Leave us alone! Especially the War Memorials of the integrated arm forces of the Confederate War Machine!
I HK Edgerton was born and raised in the heart of the Jim Crow era in the year that Israel became a State; with a picture of the Honorable General Robert E. Lee on my mom's mantle place… a man that my mom called a Christ like in the South, a devout Christian, and a friend to the Negro race.
Never, ever did I know or hear of a black man's desire to deface the monument to him adjacent to the Honorable Zebulon Baird Vance whose family cut out the land that is now Asheville, North Carolina.
This City Council and County Commission has no legal right to remove any of the Confederate Cenotaphs, or that of three time Governor, three times Senator, and most highly decorated citizen in the historic of the State of North Carolina, Zebulon Baird Vance. State law prohibits it but so does MORAL LAW.
And to those two black City Council members and the Jewish Mayor who betrayed the Jews with this vote I say that “you are no better than the boot blacks, carpetbaggers, and scalawags that sold the South during the 12 year period of reconstruction.”
And all the hate that was caused between Southern black folk and their white Southern family because you used the black folk to continue the Thaddeus Stephens-style persecution agenda against the South; that debt almost paid by Southern blacks, and now you want to use us again because a black man in a northern town was killed by a Northern Policeman. It had NOTHING to do with Asheville, Buncome County or Zebulon Vance.
And not to forget Black lives don't matter in Chicago to black folk who snuff them out, or on the out skirts of Asheville when a young black man opened fire killing a 7 year old baby girl asleep in her bed, and late a 17 year old black teenager in a drive by shooting just yesterday. God bless you!
Chairman of the Board of Advisors Emeritus of the Southern Legal Resource Center
Member of Save Southern Heritage Florida
President Southern Heritage 411