MONROE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- A petition has started to remove a Confederate monument in downtown Monroe. Similar calls have been made in cities like Gastonia and Salisbury.
The man behind the petition, 31-year-old Jordan Britton, says it is time for change in Monroe.
“I am a white person and I’ve got a lot of privilege. I can do a lot with what I have so I can use my voice for good,” said Jordan Britton, when asked why he started the petition.
Britton was born and raised in southern Union County. For much longer than he has been alive, since 1910, a Confederate monument has stood outside the old courthouse on North Main Street in Monroe.
“After the George Floyd murder that lit a fire under me and I started listening and seeing all the posts and news from Black people across the country and seeing what their thoughts were on race matters,” said Britton.
Britton wrote an open letter to the Union County Board of Commissioner and started an online petition to have the monument removed. Britton says he doesn’t necessarily want the monument just thrown away.
“If there is a museum that is willing to have it and put the proper context around it explaining what the history is behind it and what was going on at the time it was erected,” said Britton.
The monument remembers the Confederate soldiers from 1861, when slavery was still legal in the south. Britton believes its existence today sends the wrong message about the Monroe community.
“I don’t want people to think just because we are outside the big cities of Charlotte and Raleigh that we are backwards people. There are good people in Union County and they want to do what is right,” said Britton.
The online petition was started just a few days ago and has about 800 signatures. The plan is to organize a protest and march in the coming weeks in hopes of gaining more support before presenting a removal plan to Union County Commissioners.