The Iredell County Board of Commissioners finds itself named in a lawsuit asking for the Confederate Memorial statue to be moved, but only Scottie Brown, the lone commissioner to vote against the resolution in March, has been steadfast in his opposition.
For Brown, he said the issue is bigger than just defending keeping the statue in its current location at the Iredell County Government Center.
“It’s not just about the statue, it’s about losing our freedom. Every day, we lose a little more freedom. We can’t keep giving up our freedom. I don’t mean that as a white person, I mean that as an Iredell Countian, as an American. We can’t keep giving up our freedom,” Brown said. “The United States is based on Christianity. We give up the prayer, now they want us to give up the statue, next they’ll ask us to give up our flag.”
The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 in March to move the statue off of county property, preferably in a local cemetery where Confederate dead are buried. However, later that week Chairman James Mallory stated that without an agreement with the Sons of the Confederacy, it couldn’t be moved, so at that point the board of commissioners had no interest in moving it.
While other commissioners faced opposition from some Iredell County citizens, including the local Republican Party, Brown was spared. Brown defended the statue by saying it has been there for more than 100 years as a monument for both Black and white soldiers who fought for the Confederacy. He said, however, he feels it is a fight for more than just the statue itself. Brown said he considered it to be an issue similar to the Board of County Commissioners no longer praying to begin meetings.
“I want it to stay. After talking to a lot of people in the county, the African American community and the Caucasian, the ones I’m talking to assume it stays also,” Brown said. “I haven’t found out of 400 people, only two people I’ve talked to say it bothers them.”
He said as taxpayers, they want him to continue on.
“I never like to say how I should spend taxpayers’ money, but I ask them how I should spend it, and this is what they are telling me,” Brown said. “They are tired of their freedom being taken away from them, so they’re ready to take a stand.”
None of the other commissioners responded to a request for comments in time for Wednesday’s edition.
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