Should a Monument Honoring a Confederate General Be Removed?
Posted: Jun 22, 2017 6:40 PM
By Timothy Parker
(SALISBURY, Md.) - There is a petition to remove a monument honoring Confederate General John Winder at the Wicomico County Courthouse in Salisbury.

The mayor has even signed it.

A racial justice advocacy group says the sign should not be placed at the same location where a black man was lynched less than 100 years ago.

"You have a marker honoring next to a building that used to be a place where slaves were bought and sold not 100 feet from where Matthew Williams was lynched in 1931, a black man lynched by hundreds of white Salisbury residents," said James Yamakawa of the Showing Up For Racial Justice group.

Former County Councilman and decorated military veteran Edward Taylor says honoring a Confederate general is a sign of disrespect to him and others in the black community.

"He was responsible for thousands of unwarranted deaths. He wasn't worthy of being called a human being," the former councilman said.

Jonathan Taylor started a petition to keep the monument. He says it's about history, not race.

"Anytime something says confederate on it, it makes people feel uncomfortable with the racial overtones of what that stands for in today's age. But I don't want the monument removed just because some people see it as some sort of racist, you know, celebration or something," Jonathan Taylor said.

Those who want this marker removed say General Winder has no historical association with the area at all

"Why is this marker not at his birth place? Why is it not at his burial place," Yamakawa said.

Both sides agree there should be a marker to remember the lynching which happened 86 years ago.

"I agree with the other group. I do believe there should be a placard out here for the lynching that took place. I absolutely support that 100 percent. I would hope they would make that happen because it needs to be here as well," Jonathan Taylor said.

Over 400 people have signed the petition to keep the monument, while only about 200 people have signed to try to get it removed.

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