ELON – As the Confederate Statue sitting outside the Chatham County Courthouse since 1907 was removed this week after months of controversy, a new poll from Elon University suggests that the majority of North Carolinians are fine with such monuments in public places. The poll of 1,467 respondents, found 65 percent believed the monuments should remain, while 35 percent believed they should be removed.
From the poll findings:
“[…] Most North Carolina residents (65%) believe Confederate monuments should remain on public, government-owned property. A minority (35%) believe they should be removed. 25% believe removing monuments helps race relations in the state, while 36% believe removing Confederate monuments from government property hurts race relations. 40% believe it makes no difference.
Black residents were more likely to say Confederate monuments should be removed from public property (73%), as were those who have a negative reaction to the Confederate flag (73%). NC residents who believe the legacy of slavery affects African Americans today “a great deal” were more likely to say the monuments should be removed (63%). 64% of Democrats believe monuments on public property should be removed. […]”
Beyond the majority thinking the statues should remain, a large majority (76 percent) of respondents said removing the statues makes no difference to race relations (40 percent), or actually hurts race relations (36 percent). More people think it hurts than think it helps, further proof that the loudest voices framing these statues as symbols of racism oppressing their lives are a distinct minority. Even among Democrats, one out of three doesn’t feel the statues should be removed. Among African-Americans, one in four aren’t so offended as to want them taken down.
So while the Social Justice Warriors celebrate the removal of the Chatham County statue today, and gleefully relive the toppling of ‘Silent Sam’ in Chapel Hill, most of North Carolina recognizes this as a manufactured issue that does nothing positive for race relations.
You can explore the rest of the poll results here.