County commissioners condemn antisemitism

The Moore County Board of Commissioners went on record at their Tuesday meeting condemning antisemitism and hatred after an antisemitic banner was hung on two bridges in Moore County in December.

Chairman Nick Picerno said the commissioners received emails about the banner and said “it was really a Vass town issue and not so much a Moore County issue” but wanted to address the situation.

“Hate has no place anywhere, anywhere following any subject,” said Picerno. “As Americans, we should be able to sit in a room, have good discussions, and not hate each other because we disagree. I think that’s stupidity.”

An antisemitic sign was removed from the Highway 690 overpass in Vass just hours before the first night of Hanukkah. The Moore County Sheriff’s Office has the sign and is investigating who is responsible for hanging it.  

The large sign was covered with four red swastikas in each corner and antisemitic phrases. In part, language associated with white supremacist groups, “BRING IT ALL DOWN” and “1488,” was written on the sign.

Another antisemitic sign was found hanging on the Pineywood Church Road overpass in Cameron on Christmas morning. The sheriff’s department said the signs appear to be placed on the bridges by the same people, but they are still combing through evidence to determine this.

Last week, Sandhills Coalition for Peace, Love and Justice, along with the NAACP, joined together in unity with nearly 100 people from across North Carolina for the Take Back the Bridge event in Vass.

Sandhills Coalition for Peace, Love and Justice is a new coalition formed by a diverse group of community leaders. Barbara Rothbeind of the Sandhills Jewish Congregation, Charles Oldham of Sandhills Pride and O’Linda Watkins-McSurely of the Moore County NAACP are the founding members, along with members of other nonpartisan faith and cultural organizations.

“We encourage all organizations, municipalities, and local governments to stand against hatred and racism with the same bravery and tenacity,” said Watkins-McSurely at the Take Back the Bridge event. “We must form a strong coalition of people from all walks of life to help support the creation of a bonded community.” 

Commissioner Jim Von Cannon said Tuesday that authorities are searching for DNA. “There was part of a glove on there, and if and when they do find it, we’re going turn the book over and over and over, and charge them with everything we can because it’s not funny,” said Von Cannon.

Other commissioners condemned the banners as well.

Feature photo: Moore County Board of Commissioners/Sandhills Sentinel.

~Staff article.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email