County leader refers to slaves as 'workers'

Tim Sutton, a North Carolina county commissioner referred to slaves as "workers" during a discussion on removing a Confederate statue. Sam Roberts, The Times-News via AP.

The Latest on efforts to remove Confederate monuments and the nationwide fallout from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

A North Carolina county commissioner referred to slaves as "workers" during a discussion on removing a Confederate statue.

The Times-News of Burlington reports Alamance County Commissioner Tim Sutton made the comments during an unscheduled discussion on Monday regarding a Confederate statue in downtown Graham, the county seat. A group appeared before the board of commissioners to ask them to consider keeping the statue.

Sutton is a member of the Sons of the Confederacy. He told the meeting that he is "not going to be a victim of political correctness."

He was talking about his great-grandfather's death when he said, "some guys on the farm, you can call them slaves if you want to, but I would just call them workers."
5:45 p.m.

A historic hotel in Virginia has removed a portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its lobby in the wake of a deadly white nationalist rally earlier this month.
The Roanoke Times reports that the Hotel Roanoke removed the portrait last week.

Virginia Tech Foundation President John Dooley said that current events factored into the decision to remove the portrait, which the hotel said was also done as part of an ongoing remodel. The foundation owns the hotel, which was first built by a railway company in 1882.

Confederate monuments around the country have been removed following an Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where hate groups gathered to protest the city's decision to remove a Lee statue from a city park.
5:45 p.m.

An advocacy group is calling for the renaming of Boston's historic Faneuil Hall because its namesake had ties to slavery.

The meeting house built in 1742 is where Samuel Adams and other American colonists made some of the earliest speeches urging independence from Britain.

Kevin Peterson is founder of the New Democracy Coalition. He says the name is an embarrassment to the city because Peter Faneuil (FAN'-yul) was a wealthy merchant who owned and traded slaves. Faneuil built the meeting house for Boston.

Peterson suggests renaming Faneuil Hall to honor Crispus Attucks, a black man considered the first American killed in the Revolutionary War.

Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson cautions that removing any part of the nation's complicated history "unbalances it" and "renders it false."
3:50 p.m.

The mayor of Charlottesville says an outbreak of anger at a city council meeting shows how deeply traumatized the community was by a violent white nationalist rally.

Mayor Mike Signer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the outbursts at the meeting a night earlier were the "beginning of the process of catharsis."

The protests forced the council to abandon its agenda, and members instead took comments from the crowd.

Toward the end of the meeting, the council voted to cover two Confederate statues with black fabric to signal the city's mourning for Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car slammed into a crowd protesting the rally.

Signer says city staff are sorting how to do that.

He says it's "not a trivial undertaking" because the statues are large and the material needs to be able to withstand the elements.
3:45 p.m.

An actress who grew up in Mississippi says the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag represents "terrorism."

Aunjanue (AHN-jhe-new) Ellis has been pushing for years to change the flag. She was among the flag opponents speaking Tuesday at the state Capitol in Jackson.

Ellis has starred in the ABC series "Quantico" and in the 2011 movie "The Help."

Mississippi has the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem — a red field topped by a blue X dotted with 13 white stars.

Historians in Mississippi are also saying this week that the emblem is a "symbol of racial terror" that should be stripped from the state flag.

Confederate symbols are under increased scrutiny since marches by white nationalists recently in Charlottesville, Virginia.
3:45 p.m.

A Kentucky high school is phasing out its mascot of six decades, a Confederate general called Mr. Rebel.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports Boone County High School Principal Timothy Schlotman said the decision was made last year and is not related to nationwide efforts to remove Confederate symbols. He said he approached a school council last year because he felt the logo featuring a Confederate general in a light blue uniform, feathered cap and mustache didn't represent the school's community.

The Mr. Rebel image is being replaced by a student-created logo.

The principal said the main community concern was whether the school's Rebels name would change, which it won't. He says the name derives from "Rebel Without a Cause."
2:30 p.m.

Workers in a Florida city have started taking down a memorial to Confederate soldiers at a city-owned cemetery.

The Palm Beach Post reports that a crane arrived at Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach on Tuesday to remove the 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) marble monument. Mayor Jeri Muoio announced the removal a day earlier, saying the city had asked the Daughters of the Confederacy to remove the memorial for months and that the group had declined. The group erected the monument in 1941.

The monument is carved with a Confederate flag, as well as words honoring soldiers. It was vandalized over the weekend with red spray paint. Police have said the monument also was vandalized a few weeks ago.
1:30 p.m.

North Carolina's flagship university has put metal barriers around a Confederate statue ahead of an expected rally on campus.

Law enforcement officers were seen putting up the waist-high metal barriers Tuesday morning around the bronze soldier known as "Silent Sam" at the University of North Carolina.

Flyers have circulated on social media and around Chapel Hill for an evening rally by people who want the statue taken down. Chancellor Carol Folt issued a message urging students not to attend the rally and saying it's being organized by groups not associated with the university.

In nearby Durham, protesters tore down a bronze Confederate statue in front of a government building last week. Days later, Duke University chose to remove a limestone statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its chapel.
1:30 p.m.
Historians in Mississippi say the Confederate battle emblem is a "symbol of racial terror" that needs to be stripped from the state flag.

Thirty-four professors released a statement this week saying they expect questions from students about the recent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where some participants carried the rebel flag.

Mississippi has the last state flag with the Confederate symbol.

The professors from public and private universities say Mississippi legislators adopted the flag in 1894 to assert white supremacy. They say it "ignores the reality of the African-American experience, and it limits the scope of what Mississippi has been, is, and can be."

Voters kept the flag in a 2001 referendum. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said if the design is reconsidered, it should happen in another statewide election.
1:30 p.m.

George and Amal Clooney are donating $1 million to fight hate groups.

The couple announced Tuesday that their Clooney Foundation for Justice is supporting the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center with a $1 million grant to combat hate groups in the United States.

George Clooney says in a statement Tuesday that they wanted to add their voices and financial assistance to the fight for equality.

The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors the activities of more than 1,600 extremist groups in the U.S. and has used litigation to win judgments against white supremacist organizations.

Last month, the Clooney Foundation announced a $2 million grant to support education for Syrian refugee children.
1:30 p.m.

Critics want New York City to remove a statue in Central Park that honors a doctor who used slaves in developing a pioneering approach to treating physical problems women can develop after childbirth.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is among those calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

Sims was a 19th century physician who used slave women to develop his surgical technique to repair fistulas and operated on these women without anesthesia.

The removal of Confederate statues sparked a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. An anti-racist demonstrator was killed when a car drove into a crowd protesting the rally.

Following that violence, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials would review "symbols of hate" on city property.
1:30 p.m.

An official in a Massachusetts town has publicly apologized after posting a racist slur on Facebook after the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Dudley Highway Superintendent Daniel Gion apologized at a selectmen's meeting Monday for what he called his "insensitive comment."
He says his emotions got the better of him during a Facebook discussion last week about a CNN debate broadcast discussing the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The comment was apparently in reference to CNN commentator Symone Sanders, who is black. Gion is white.

Gion was placed on paid leave last week. He says he hopes to move on and learn from his mistake.
1:30 p.m.

The Confederate flags had been in a Manhattan apartment window for more than a year. And then, in a matter of days last week, they were met with hurled rocks, a punched-out window, a tarp hung over them and legal action.

By Monday, the lighted flags were no more to be found in the seventh-floor windows in the East Village neighborhood.

They'd attracted new attention after an Aug. 12 white nationalist rally to preserve a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, spiraled into violence.

The tenant has noted the banners were up for more than a year. He calls it "a little suspicious" that the response has come only recently.

His landlord withdrew a lawsuit Monday asking a court to order the tenant to remove the flags.
8 a.m.

A Confederate memorial has been removed from outside a Maryland courthouse.

Photos posted on Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman's Facebook page show the memorial outside the Circuit Court in Ellicott City being removed Monday night and placed onto a truck. The monument includes the names of dozens of Confederate soldiers from the area.

Kittleman said the "more appropriate place for the memorial is in a museum."

Criticism of Confederate monuments has been intensifying since a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent after white nationalists opposed to the city's plan to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee clashed with counter protesters.

The removal of the memorial in Ellicott City comes about a week after Baltimore pulled down its Confederate monuments under the cover of night.
7:30 a.m.
Charlottesville, Virginia, is planning to cover the statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in black fabric.

The Daily Progress reports the city council voted unanimously early Tuesday to shroud the statues in fabric to represent the city's mourning of Heather Heyer. The 32-year-old woman was killed on Aug. 12 when a car rammed into a group of people protesting a white nationalist rally in the city.

The rally was sparked by the city's decision to remove a statue of Lee.

Tuesday's vote came after anger boiled over at the first city council meeting since the rally. Some residents screamed and cursed at councilors and called for their resignations.

A police spokeswoman said three people were arrested and released on summons for disorderly conduct.

By The Associated Press

The Gayly - 8/22/2017 5:41 p.m. CST