Opinion

Ex-NAACP President Condemns Monument Destruction

HK Edgerton of Asheville.

Asheville – Dear Attorney Lyons and Board of Directors of the Southern Legal Resource Center,

WLOS Channel 13, in its reporting on Thursday, May 3, 2021, tried to put a spin on the criminal actions of the City of Asheville in complicit with the Buncombe County Commission. They justified the illegal removal of the Zebulon Baird Vance Memorial and consequently the defamation of his name because of the recommendations of a stacked and bias committee formed by them said to do so in the report presented to their bodies.

Had these two political entities presented their preposterous and illegal charge to remove Vance in accordance with the North Carolina Monument Protection Law to the Historic Commission for review, perhaps something other than the defamation of his character would be the only crime presented here. However, they chose to put themselves above the written law and caused the destruction of this memorial that has stood on the public square for more than 150 years.

Mayor Ester and Chairman Brownie, and their perspective bodies, should not only face a recall vote for their actions but in my opinion, be jailed for placing themselves above the North Carolina Law. Unfortunately, city and county citizens are forced to pay the bills for putting back all of the lawfully protected cenotaphs they illegally removed.

Black citizens should be incensed that these criminals used them to justify their high crime in exchange for something they defined as ‘reparations for slavery. An offer that was truly with no merit or intent was told to the entire nation.

Had Superior Court Judge Warren studied the North Carolina Monument Protection Law, he would have immediately issued a restraining order to stop this crime until it had undergone further review. It has been proposed that I, as a concerned citizen, file to make a citizen’s arrest, but any legal and necessary action in this matter should come from the attorney general of North Carolina, with the governor and legislative body who wrote the law leading the way.

A Yankee-born former governor signed the law because he recognized the legislative body was right. Now, the stench permeates from the governor’s office as well because he turns a blind eye to the continuous illegal actions and behavior of those just like the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Board of Governors, the City of Asheville and Buncombe County in these matters.

They need to act or I shall be forced to let this letter serve as a prerequisite to the local magistrate and district attorney to honor a request for a citizen’s arrest. Not to forget, Black citizens of the state, cities and counties ought to be incensed about how they have been used and duped to justify and satisfy the pushing of so many false narratives.

For more than 150 years the cenotaphs of Vance, Lee and the confederate soldier in Buncombe County stood as an embodiment of honor and pleasure for all of our citizens. One of our most leading citizens, the Honorable Mrs. Aston of Asheville, as a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, canvassed the populous to build a cenotaph for the slaves who cared nothing but honor alongside the White citizenry during the War for Southern Independence.

I am the former first Vice President and President of the Asheville/Buncombe Chapter of the NAACP, Chairman of the Program Planning and Implementation Committee of the former Buncombe County Drug Commission, co-writer of the Asheville/Buncombe Minority Business Plan, decorated by the Asheville Police and City Street Departments, volunteer in the Ira B. Jones Elementary, Reynolds Middle, and Estes Elementary School; volunteer of the boys and girls basketball teams of Oakley Middle School, founder of Riverfront Development (non-profit builder of affordable housing, first Black employed by M.B. Haynes Electric Company and co-caddy master of the Asheville Country Club. Most importantly, I was born February 18, 1948, to the Honorable Rev. Roland Rogers and Annabelle Robinson Edgerton, who is the only Black woman to receive a Confederate State Funeral. I have never heard or fielded a complaint about the Honorable Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, or his cenotaph that was surrounded by citizens Red, Yellow, Brown, Black and White from all across the country. I don the uniform of the Southern soldier on October 14, 2002, as an Honorary Life Member of the Zebulon Vance Camp 15, Sons of Confederate Veterans and march some 20 miles a day, six days a week to the Supreme Court Building in Austin, Texas with the Southern Cross in hand in what is renowned as the Historic March Across Dixie that covered 77 cities and seven southern states.

All along the way, Black folks were so very proud to talk about the trained cadre of Blacks on plantations all across the South who made the implements of war, provided General Lee’s beleaguered forces with foodstuffs and stayed at home to protect their home places from a hoard army with orders to heap total warfare on the defenseless old men, women and children.  

Importantly, those Black Confederate soldiers like Holt Collier, Levi Carnine, Polk Arnold, Dr. Alexander Darnes (first black doctor in Jacksonville, Florida) Dick Poplar (has a day celebrated in his name in Petersburg, Virginia), Sam Cullom, Representative John F. Harris, the Republican Member Mississippi House of Representatives who rose from his sickbed to give the deciding vote to appropriate $10,000 to complete the Confederate cenotaph on the capitol grounds, George Mills, who like many Black Confederates brought the body of Captain Walter M. Bryson home, right down the road in Hendersonville after he was killed in the Battle of Sharpsburg, and lastly, because of time and space, Rev. Mac Lee, body servant to the Honorable General Robert E. Lee; built the first Credit Union in America, built churches both in the North and South, and told his people; get yourself educated, buy some land, keep your faith in our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, and above all else, put your trust only in the Southern white man. God bless you!

Your brother,

HK

Chairman of the Board of Advisors Emeritus of the Southern Legal Resource

Expert Witness – Jacqueline Duty vs the Kentucky School Board 

Honorary Life Member Zebulon Vance Camp 15 Sons of Confederate Veterans

Honorary Life Member North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose

President Southern Heritage 411

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