Last Monday, August 14th, the BYP100 Durham Chapter mobilized in solidarity with comrades, organizers, community members, and abolitionists, to resist against the current organizing of white supremacy in this country. We believe that the 93 years of confederate and white supremacist altar worship in Durham must come to a dramatic end. When the representatives and elected officials of Durham chose not respect the request of their constituency, the people of Durham answered the call and took the confederate statue down ourselves. When the Durham County Sheriff’s Department, unjustly targeted those “involved” with the dramatic end of the white supremacist statue, the people of Durham surrendered themselves to the sheriff together. Hundreds of Durham residents stood in active solidarity against the state and any white supremacist groups that threatened Durham with a potential protest to keep the white supremacist statue. White supremacist monuments do not belong in this city. They do not belong in this state. They do not belong in this country. We cannot tolerate the New Confederacy.
BYP100 Durham believes that the people have a moral imperative to break unjust laws. The removal of the confederate statue, from our home, reflects a mandate from our community to dismantle that which does not represent us. While some have criticized the removal of the confederate soldier as unnecessary or uncivil, we are clear that the uncivil and often unnecessary are those in power, as they have allowed the statue to stand, as they also allow the extrajudicial killing of Black and Brown folks. The request that we politely wait for politicians to gather the courage, ethic, tact, discipline, rigor, moral compass, and values needed to act, is and has always been a demand that denies those marginalized of our humanity and self-determination. These same people would also ask that we put anti-Black violence aside, that we put the long history of ethnic genocide, slavery, colonization, and erasure of history, aside. The people of Durham could no longer allow this white supremacist monument to tower over us, monday was the end of that reality. We used the current political moment as a catalyst to destroy one of the historical representations of this country’s violent foundation. We as a community demand that enough is enough, and we can wait no longer. As our ancestral mentor Ella Baker said “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
This is a moment when the people of Durham and the people of this country must choose a side — there is no neutral. White Supremacy and Black Freedom cannot coexist. Right now, Sheriff Andrews and the deputies of the Durham police department are doing the bidding of white nationalist groups like the KKK. To uphold and protect white supremacy is to be a white supremacist. We are committed to dismantling all efforts and operations of white supremacy and anti-Blackness in Durham North Carolina and ultimately throughout this country. If the elected officials of Durham choose to mis-represent us and our needs, we will replace those in office as a means of accountability. We will not stop until all confederate statues are removed. Until all laws upholding white supremacy are abolished. Until politicians who refuse to represent the people are unseated. We are committed to Black liberation, and we need those in alliance with our values and vision to actively resist in the fight against white supremacy.
You, in this moment have to decide whether you will actively join us on the right side of history. Knowing that future generations and those that come after will one day remember this time and will ask us what we fought for to build their future reality. We are on the side of freedom, and we are asking you to join us.