By CBS News. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s famous Monument Avenue. The statue will be removed “as soon as possible,” Northam said at a news conference where the announcement was met with extended applause.
The statue, which sits on state property, will move to storage while Northam’s administration works “with the community to determine its future,” The Associated Press reports.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said Wednesday in a statement that removing the monument is “a step in the right direction in the continued fight to address institutional racism, systemic disparities, and remaining vestiges of Jim Crow in our Commonwealth.”
“These confederate monuments are a symbol of racism, oppression, and hate,” the group said. “It coincides with similar actions, such as with the removal of the confederate statue at Appomattox in Alexandria and with plans to remove the Fredericksburg slave auction block this month. In addition, we must continue to focus on creating a better future by dismantling the systemic racism that still exists across our institutions.”
Virginia House member Jay Jones told The Associated Press he was “overcome” by emotion when he learned the statue will be removed. (Read more from “Virginia Governor Orders General Robert E. Lee Monument, Others Destroyed; Are George Washington Monuments Next?” HERE)
Confederate Monuments Collapse: Statues in Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee Are Torn Down and Vandalized With Graffiti Amid George Floyd Protests
By Daily Mail. Confederate monuments have been toppled in Southern states including Alabama, South Carolina, and Virginia during the historic George Floyd protests sweeping the country.
On Tuesday morning the bronze statue of Confederate soldier ‘Appomattox’ was taken down in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia by its owners who feared it would be vandalized in demonstrations.
The statue, erected in 1889 to honor Confederate soldiers, has been a point of controversy for years but remained standing despite repeated demands for removal, until this week.
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted photos of the statue removal saying: ‘Alexandria, like all great cities, is constantly changing and evolving.’
A city spokesperson said the owner of the statue – the United Daughters of the Confederacy – notified the city Monday that they would remove the statue. (Read more from “Confederate Monuments Collapse: Statues in Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee Are Torn Down and Vandalized With Graffiti Amid George Floyd Protests” HERE)