Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam stunned the state when he announced plans to remove the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue along Richmond’s Monument Avenue “as soon as possible,” proving there is not one Dem politician who will not sue any crisis to advance their agenda.
Many were outraged some were in favor of the controversial move.
“That is a symbol for so many people, black and otherwise, of a time gone by of hate and oppression and being made to feel less than,” said Del. Jay Jones, a black lawmaker from Norfolk who was happy with the move.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue along Richmond’s Monument Avenue “as soon as possible” Thursday morning.
Northam’s decision comes following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to remove other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property.
Rev. Rob Lee, a nephew of Robert E. Lee, joined leaders at the news conference and said he supported removing the Lee statue.
From The AP:
Also on Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to seek the removal of the other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property.
Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance July 1 to have the statues removed. That’s when a new law goes into effect, which was signed earlier this year by Northam, that undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate.
“I appreciate the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission – those were the appropriate recommendations at the time,” Stoney said in a statement, referencing a panel he established that studied what should be done with the monuments and recommended the removal of the Davis tribute. “But times have changed, and removing these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians. Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that.”
Bill Gallasch, president of the Monument Avenue Preservation Society, said he worried the statues’ removal would change the “soul” of the street, hurt tourism in historic Richmond and stir up violence between far-right and far-left groups.
The monument-removal plans also drew criticism from the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase, who is also running for governor, started a petition on her campaign website to save the statues.
“The radical left will not be satisfied until all white people are purged from our history books,” Chase’s website said.