A racially offensive banner referencing the Ku Klux Klan was found outside the Rockingham County Schools administration building in Eden, N.C., Wednesday morning, WFMY-TV reports.
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Based on a picture of the banner obtained from the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, the sign's text reads "We will get our monument back and no N----- loving City Council will stop us! The REAL KKK does not play!"
According to the Greensboro News & Record, the monument in question was knocked down by a driver last year. In May, the North Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy got the green light to erect a new statue in the city-owned cemetery for Confederate soldiers. But the Historic Preservation Action Committee, however, wanted the statue fixed and moved to a downtown Reidsville location.
After an employee of the district removed the sign and called the Sheriff's office, Reidsville mayor James K. Festerman released a statement, obtained by WGHP-TV:
“I am sorry that a family matter caused me to miss the City Council meeting this afternoon. In light of the unfortunate and hateful banner that was placed at the Rockingham County Schools’ Administration Building, I feel the need to assure our citizens that their Mayor and City Council will continue to work with the appropriate authorities to not only stop these hate crimes, but to also bring the perpetrators to justice if possible.
Furthermore, it is this City Council’s continuing, and unyielding position, that the Confederate Monument is the property of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and we support their right to put the statue in Greenview Cemetery. While I support the constitutional right of those people that oppose our viewpoint to peacefully exercise their opinion on this subject, I would hope that they would see the damage their continuing opposition is doing to our community.”
Sheriff Sam Page told the News & Record that the incident is currently being investigated as a hate crime.