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Charlotte Observer: Alumnus Judge Removes Confederate Hero From the Courtroom

Martin ClarkCharlotte Observer Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten extols alumnus Martin F. Clark '81 for personally removing a painting of Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart from his courtroom. The move has been highly unpopular, given that Judge Clark presides in the town of Stuart, Va., which was named after the famous Civil Warrior. But Clark, in a 2,000-word statement, cited his duty as a judge. "It is my goal... to provide a trial setting that is perceived by all participants as fair, neutral and without so much a hint of prejudice. Confederate symbols are, simply put, offensive to African Americans..."

Judge Martin turned the tables on fellow white citizens, asking how they would feel entering a courtroom occupied completely by black citizens, with a framed picture of Malcolm X on the wall. Editor Batten called Judge Clark's action "a courageous move" that would ultimately be located on the right side of history.

Read the column.