Richmond to remove statue of Robert E. Lee

Image+via+Houston+Chronicle

Image via Houston Chronicle

Helen Ehrlich, News Editor

Robert E. Lee’s statue is a six story tall symbol of the racism and shame that fills Virginia’s history. Home to more Confederate monuments and statues than any other state in the United States, the topic of how to best tell the story of the commonwealth has sparked controversy for years. Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has officially announced the removal of the famous Robert E. Lee statue, “as soon as possible.”

 

The statue of the Confederacy’s General Lee, which is owned by the state government and crafted against Lee’s wishes, stands on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. The statue was targeted by protestors this week (read more here), as police brutality in the United States was confronted.

Legislation was passed earlier this spring declaring that localities may make personal choices regarding what to do with statues, along with a package of a number of other Progressive bills (read more here). 

 

Governor Northam pointed out the history of the Lee statue, saying that its importance to the Confederacy is a shameful mark on the state’s history. Four other statues are owned by the state in Richmond alone, but Governor Northam stated, “Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy.”

After making international news with his announcement of the statue’s removal on June 3, 2020 Governor Northam used his weekly press briefing to discuss the statue’s impending removal, “In Virginia, for more than 400 years, we have set high ideals about freedom and equality, but we have fallen short of many of them.”