The Symbols of the South Symposium will conclude March 23 with a roundtable discussion on the various interpretations of Confederate monuments by different groups of people. The discussion will feature representatives from a variety of different groups in the community, now including the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
In advance of Cameron Lippard’s presentation on March 9, event organizers said they had reached out to SCV, but had not heard anything back. However, Bill Starnes, a member of the organization, has now confirmed to The News Herald that he will take part in the roundtable discussion.
Starnes said he and the Sons of Confederate Veterans had been unaware of the upcoming roundtable discussion until the North Carolina Division’s 1st Lt. Commander “just happened to come across” an article in The News Herald last week. The Rev. Kevin Frederick, one of the event organizers, said he had previously reached out to two group members who had originally agreed to participate in a discussion in 2020 but had not heard anything back from them.
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Starnes said he views the discussion as a “worthwhile endeavor” and is prepared to share his views and the history on which he bases those views.
“My personal feeling is that it’s unfortunate that we need to have these types of discussions, but I’m glad we have the opportunity to have these types of discussions,” he told The News Herald.
In addition to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Frederick said representatives at the roundtable will include:
- Tea Yang – Hmong community member
- The Rev. George Logan – Pastor, New Day Christian Church and member Burke Coalition for Reconciliation
- Robert McAdams – Retired Burke County Public Schools history teacher
- Butch McSwain – Morganton City Council
- A representative from the Burke County Branch of the NAACP
- Jane Cantwell – Instructor of American Studies and Humanities at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
The Symbols of the South symposium is set to conclude with the roundtable discussion at First Presbyterian Church in Morganton on March 23 at 7 p.m. First Presbyterian Church is located at 100 Silver Creek Road in Morganton.
Jason Koon is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-432-8907.