Richmond Finally Removes Robert E. Lee Confederate Monument
The historic Robert E. Lee confederate monument in Richmond, Virginia is finally coming down after Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans for its removal back in June 2020. The Virginia State Supreme Court gave the city permission to start the multi-day process, which should be completed before the end of the week. Northam believes removing the statue will help propel Richmond into a more inclusive and just future and a lot of America agrees with him.
Confederate statues all over the country were rightfully removed after the killing of George Floyd sparked a nationwide protest against police brutality. Many people believed the statues represented hate, racism, and a period of this country that should not be celebrated or idolized with statues.
The 12-ton statue, which sat in the middle of Richmond’s historic Monument Ave is not the first statue to come down in Virginia. The statehouse removed several busts in 2020 that honored Confederate generals. In an interview with CNN, Lawrence West, founder of BLM RVA said, “with the coming down of the monument it is also a part of coming down with those types of ideals. It brings some closure to the conversation, ‘It’s OK to be racist.”
The sentiment shared by West is shared by many in Richmond, as hundreds flocked to the monument Wednesday morning to watch the start of the statue’s removal. Folks shared their messages on Facebook as well as Twitter and before 9 a.m. people arrived at the statue eager to see it come down.
In 2020, Black Lives Matter protesters defaced the statue with spray paint and pictures honoring George Floyd. The statue would eventually turn into a meeting place for people who supported Black Lives Matter and folks fighting for social justice in America. It also became a tourist attraction to many all over the world. On any given weekend, tourists flocked to the spray-painted statue, taking pictures and videos to share with loved ones.
The city of plans to work with community leaders, as well as citizens of Richmond to figure out what will replace the statue. All in all, it’s a good day for Virginia.
Watch the removal of the Robert E. Lee confederate monument here:
WATCH LIVE: As the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond takes place. https://t.co/ylZytLmLck
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) September 8, 2021
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