Reuben Blackwell, a black councilman whose ward includes the statue, said during an emotional testimony to his fellow lawmakers that he could not even bring himself to visit the park where it is located.
“It’s something that memorializes murder to me and to people who look like me, rape to me and [people] who look like me and economic subjugation to me and people who look like me,” Blackwell said, according to the Rocky Mount Telegram.
His son Cooper had led a peaceful rally at the monument last week, and Blackwell said he would not shed a single tear if someone were to pull the statue down.
Then another black councilman, T.J. Walker, spoke up.
His fellow millennials have gotten so fed up with racism and white supremacy, the 27-year-old councilman said, that such a conclusion would not be out of the question.
“If we don’t move it, they will take it down,” Walker said, “and that’s the bottom line.”