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McMaster doubts SC will reflect nationwide movement to remove Confederate monuments

RAW VIDEO: Confederate statue toppled by protesters in Durham

Protesters celebrate after pulling down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C. Monday afternoon Aug. 14, 2017.
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Protesters celebrate after pulling down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C. Monday afternoon Aug. 14, 2017.

The call to have Confederate monuments and memorials removed from public grounds has picked up steam since the violent rally that resulted in the death of a Virginia woman.

Much like the slaying of nine Charleston African American parishioners led to the call to permanently furl the Confederate battle flag that flew for decades over the South Carolina State House’s grounds, the deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia has fueled another re-evaluation of Confederate statues in cities across the nation.

In Florida, workers quietly removed a Gainesville Confederate soldier's statue on Monday, the Gainsville Sun reported. That same day, Baltimore’s mayor has pledged to remove the city’s Confederate monuments, according to the Baltimore Sun.

But S.C. Gov. Henry McMater told reporters on Monday he doubted the movement would spread to South Carolina, where state law protects monuments from being removed without legislative approval, the Independent Mail reported.

“We have been through those issues over the years,” McMaster said while attending a job fair in Chapin, according to a video distributed by his office. “We do things a little differently.”

The Heritage Act requires a two-thirds vote for any change to a monument. It has proven effective – or problematic, depending on what side people stand – when there’s a push to change monuments.

Because of the law, a version of the rebel banner flew once again in a York County courtroom after it was renovated, even though it had been previously removed, according to The Herald. For some time now, the city of Greenwood has been unsuccessfully fighting to change a World War I memorial that lists the community’s fallen soldiers separately as “colored” and “white,” according to The Associated Press.

Just days after the removal of the State House’s Confederate battle flag, S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas ruled out having debate relating to the removal of other monuments or memorials, or involving changing the name of buildings or road names.

But in North Carolina on Monday, protesters had little patience for a Confederate monument in downtown Durham, slipping a yellow bungie-like cord around the monument and pulling it to the ground, according to The Herald Sun.

Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan

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