Durham County

Former Chapel Hill mayor: ‘We have heard nothing from Town Hall’ on racism, violence

Confederate flags frame ‘Silent Sam’ during a rally on the UNC campus in 2015. The rally, held in support of keeping the monument on campus, was held by Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County.
Confederate flags frame ‘Silent Sam’ during a rally on the UNC campus in 2015. The rally, held in support of keeping the monument on campus, was held by Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County. newsobserver.com

Former Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt has asked town officials to “join the chorus” of cities across the country that have expressed concern over the violence that occurred in Charlottesville Saturday, Aug. 12.

“I’m disappointed that we have heard nothing from Town Hall expressing our solidarity with Charlottesville, our sister university town to the north,” Kleinschmidt stated in a Facebook post. “The events of Saturday are of course troubling to every American, but the similarities between our two communities remind us here that those events could have as easily occurred in Chapel Hill. I know that condemnation of the neo-[N]azis and white nationalist[s] are coming from all points, but I vividly remember the kind words expressed to me when we experienced hateful events in the past and would expect similar sentiments to be expressed in the wake of Saturday’s events,” he stated.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen were to hold a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. to discuss a resolution in response to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The meeting is open to the public and the community “is encouraged to attend to stand with Charlottesville and against any form of violence and discrimination,” a town news release stated.

The board meets at Carrboro Town Hall at 301 W. Main St.

There was no immediate word on whether Chapel Hill’s Town Council plans a resolution.

The Board of Aldermen’s announcement came in the wake of the fallout from a gathering of white nationalists and other “alt-right” groups that led to one death and 19 injuries in Charlottesville. The announcement came one day after protesters in Durham took down a Confederate statue on the grounds of county government offices.

In his post, Kleinschmidt alluded to another Confederate monument in Chapel Hill, Silent Sam. “Official word from Chapel Hill officials seem even more necessary given the local interest in removing a Confederate memorial on our campus,” he stated.

Mayors from other cities across the country have offered words of support for those who suffered during the Charlottesville events, Kleinschmidt said.

“A voice from Chapel Hill should join this chorus,” Kleinschmidt stated.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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