Charlottesville Voting on Removing Another Major Statue in Their City

politics
September 05, 2017Sep 05, 2017

It’s been about three-and-a-half weeks since a protest and counter-protest over the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia erupted into a deadly clash between white supremacists and Antifa members. A woman was killed after a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd, and at least 19 people were injured. Two Virginia State Police Officers died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the riot.

The Lee statue has actually not been removed yet, but the city council wants to expedite the process. Now it’s planning to vote Tuesday night on a resolution aimed at removing another major Confederate statue in the city.

According to NBC News, Charlottesville wants to remove a Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statue from one of its parks. Jackson was a major leader in the Confederate Army and earned the nickname “stonewall” for forming an impenetrable barrier against Union troops, although some historians claim the nickname was originally delivered as an insult, according to “The American Journey: A History of the United States.”

In Richmond, Virginia, two men who say they’re two of Stonewall’s closest living relatives are insisting their mayor remove any symbols honoring Stonewall, according to Slate. They call the Stonewall and Lee statues “a clear symbol of [white supremacists’] hateful ideology.”

Great-great grandsons William Jackson Christian and Warren Edmund Christian acknowledged that “We have learned about his reluctance to fight and his teaching of Sunday School to enslaved peoples in Lexington, Virginia, a potentially criminal activity at the time. We have learned how thoughtful and loving he was toward his family.”

But they concluded that “we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.”

Meanwhile in Charlottesville, the resolutions to remove the Stonewall and Lee statues say the monuments “have become flashpoints for white supremacist violence throughout the summer of 2017.” However, the council is having to battle a state law written to prevent the removal of particular war memorials.

City councilman Bob Fenwick has argued that moving the statues out of public parks does not diminish their historical significance, saying, “They should be in a museum. If people stop and think, we have no statues, that I know of, to George Washington in Charlottesville, and yet none of us have forgotten his history. So this argument that we have to keep it to preserve history, to me, is irrelevant.”

What do you think of this? In other news, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece led America in prayer during a Trump rally.

Next: Martin Luther King's Niece Leads Country in Prayer at Trump RallyAug 25, 2017