A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol overnight, according to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Northam, a Democrat, has been pushing for the removal of Lee’s statue for some time.
“We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country,” Northam said Monday. “The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added that the removal of Lee’s statue was “welcome news.”
Pelosi, if you’re wondering, has suggested a review of all historical statues is due, including those of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
“I’m all for it. Let’s review this,” Pelosi said during a discussion with the Washington Post Live.
“Why are we glorifying the sins of the past? That doesn’t mean because Thomas Jefferson or George Washington or others were slaveowners that we should undermine what they did for our country,” she continued.
“That’s a different story,” said Pelosi. “But you know what, subject everything to scrutiny and make a decision.”
Washington’s statue stood beside Lee’s at the Capitol and remains there.
Robert E Lee’s statue will be replaced with one of the civil rights icon, Barbara Johns.
Johns, as a 16-year-old high school student in 1951, staged a protest over inferior school conditions for blacks and became one of five cases decided by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, ending school segregation.
“I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did,” Northam said.
The statue of Lee will be moved to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond.
And while Robert E Lee is a Confederate general and his likeness belongs more in a museum than built as a monument to revere, the question becomes – where will this all end?
Statue removal over the summer saw mind-numbing levels of ignorance on the part of those doing the removal.
Protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, tore down a statue of Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian-American immigrant who died fighting to end slavery during the Civil War.
Vandals also targeted statues of Ulysses S. Grant — the Union general responsible for the defeat of the Confederacy, while liberal lawmakers have also gone after those of Teddy Roosevelt, who invited Booker T. Washington to dine with him in the White House.
President Trump half-joked that it would never stop, and that statues of Washington would be coming down.
Aside from Pelosi’s call for a review, the President has proven rather prescient, with vandals targeting Washington’s statues over the summer, and one high school in California removing a mural of the nation’s first president because critics said it “traumatizes students and community members.”
While Northam is behind the push to have Robert E. Lee’s statue removed, it’s important to remember that his actions are simply a deflection from his own “racist and divisive history.”
Northam faced calls for his resignation after a picture from his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced showing two individuals – one wearing blackface and another dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Although Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, he later insisted he wasn’t in it, despite it clearly being labeled as his page.
Lee’s statue stood in the U.S. Capitol for 111 years.
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