Alabama Politician Calls Slaves 'Workers,' Defends Confederate Statue

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The local commissioner was defending the local Confederate statue by hinting that his family once owned slaves, who received land from his ancestors.

Protesters wave Confederate flags.

In a recent meeting involving local Alabama politicians discussing the future of a Confederate monument in Graham, one politician in particular made a comment that showed how clueless he seems to be about his country's own history.

During a meeting in which the group Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County (ACTBAC) asked local politicians to avoid removing a Confederate statue in downtown Graham, Alamance County Commissioner Tim Sutton railed against political correctness.

Telling the group and fellow board members that he was a chartered member of the Sons of the Confederacy, Sutton allegedly hinted that his family may have once owned slaves. But instead of simply criticizing past generations for their mistakes and moving on, the commissioner made a passionate statement in defense of what happened, going as far as attempting to lessen the blow by calling slaves by another name.

“I will never vote to do anything to take that statue or monument away from here for whatever reason,” Sutton stated, finalizing the board's comments regarding the plan to remove the statue. “The emotions have just gone haywire. I am not going to be a victim of political correctness. I am just not going to do it. Label me all you want, say what you will about me.”

He then continued:

“I am not ashamed of my great-grandfather. He did what he did. It is my understanding that when he died, from Sarah, my grandmother, that some guys on the farm, you can call them slaves if you want to, but I would just call them workers, that they raised a good bit of my family. When the time came, my great-grandmother gave them land. I am not going to be an assault on logic, an assault on the history of this country and the heritage of this area and this country. Not going to do it.”

While Sutton made the final remarks, the board had already told the public that the removal of the monument was not on the agenda, with Commissioner Bill Lashley stating that “[t]his monument was erected decades ago, and from these monuments, they reflect our history and our culture. Good or bad, history is what it is.”

With so many board members simply agreeing that the monument should remain, it didn't appear they had much of an opposition, meaning that the monument will probably stay put.

Regardless of the outcome, it's incredibly heartbreaking to know that a politician would prefer to simply rewrite history his own way in order to pretend the past wasn't as bad as history shows.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

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