“I Can’t Breathe” Walk Through Leesburg | Confederate Statute

Protesters surrounded the Confederate statue on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse May 31 in honor of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer earlier last week.

The Loudoun Clergy and Faith Leaders Group is calling for the removal of the Confederate monument in downtown Leesburg.

In a letter to the Times-Mirror, the coalition of 26 faith leaders say the statue has given "public honor to the systemic racism of its era in its most terroristic and overt form."

The monument of the Confederate soldier was erected in front of the Loudoun County Courthouse in downtown Leesburg in 1908.

“We affirm and applaud Gov. [Ralph] Northam signing new laws addressing the shameful legacy of racism here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially the removal of Confederate war memorials,” the group said in its letter. “This is an important moment in the larger need for healing the racial divides and wounds imbedded in the Virginia landscape. Hatred and racism are concerns that are not exclusive to us here in Virginia. Even so, we know that our obligation to be part of a national solution begins in our own backyard.”

The letter continues, "We further express our support for the removal and recontextualization of the Daughters of the Confederacy monument from the Loudoun Courthouse. This monument is not representative of our community and our values. It was designed to remind whites to venerate the 'Lost Cause' and to reinforce Jim Crow era strictures against blacks. It gave public honor to the systemic racism of its era in its most terroristic and overt form."

The clergy group's call comes amid nationwide awareness and pushback against Confederate statues and symbols. Confederate monuments and flags are viewed as racially insensitive and offensive by opponents, while supporters say they are honoring heritage.

Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) has said she will seek to initiate the process of removing the statue next month, when a new law goes into effect allowing localities to remove or alter war monuments.

In a recent Times-Mirror survey, all but one of the elected officials who responded – Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin) – said they do not believe the monument is appropriate in front of the county courthouse. The survey included 27 elected officials.

“I do not believe the Confederate monument is appropriate in 2020 and it wasn’t appropriate in 1908 when it was erected either,” Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Koran Saines (D-Sterling) said in his response. “Despite what others will say, it is clear why it was put up. This Confederate monument, like many others across the South, was put up during the Jim Crow era—many decades after the Civil War ended—primarily to symbolize white supremacy, not honor soldiers after the war.”

_________

Read the clergy group's letter below.

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LETTER STARTS HERE:

Dear Editor, 

The Loudoun Clergy and Faith Leaders Group understands that all of our faiths insist on the primacy of human dignity, and teach the Golden Rule to love our neighbors as ourselves. This letter is based on the common commitment we share to our human family. We are each motivated and inspired by our individual understanding of God and Truth; we speak together in common concern and commitment beyond any one tradition we reflect.

We affirm and applaud Governor Northam signing new laws addressing the shameful legacy of racism here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially the removal of Confederate war memorials. This is an important moment in the larger need for healing the racial divides and wounds imbedded in the Virginia landscape. Hatred and racism are concerns that are not exclusive to us here in Virginia. Even so, we know that our obligation to be part of a national solution begins in our own backyard.

We further express our support for the removal and recontextualization of the Daughters of the Confederacy monument from the Loudoun Courthouse. This monument is not representative of our community and our values. It was designed to remind whites to venerate the “Lost Cause” and to reinforce Jim Crow era strictures against blacks. It gave public honor to the systemic racism of its era in its most terroristic and overt form.

In recent months neighboring counties and towns have renamed streets and schools connected to the history of slavery and racism in Virginia. In recent days we have seen them remove similar statues. Nationally, we note the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy have now completely banned Confederate symbols from all spaces. Similarly, the United States Army stands ready to rename installations memorializing soldiers who served in the Confederate forces.

All of our faith traditions know that only by facing our history can we own it and transcend the failures it records. Foundational issues of equity, concerns about systemic racism, and the hope for repair beyond simple reconciliation demands we do so. Recontextualizing the monument helps future generations better understand and wrestle with the complex legacy of slavery and systemic racism in Virginia and America. We feel it is part of the pathway toward redemption. This is the time to help the arc of history find its way to justice so that all of our neighbors can know their human dignity is affirmed.

We invite all Loudouners who share our values and concerns to email the Board of Supervisors at bos@loudoun.gov. That way all our names can be seen and voices heard by our Board of Supervisors. We pray that those in power affirm with meaningful actions that in our Loudoun, we model the best of America because we truly do love our neighbors as ourselves.

Dr. Steven Archer, Purcellville

Lay Pastoral Leader Kurt Ascherman, Lucketts

Rev. Dr. Larry Buxton, Ashburn

Rev. Deborah Carlton, Leesburg

Rev. David A. Douthett, Waterford

Rev. Molly Douthett, Lucketts

Hurunnessa Fariad, Loudoun

Rev. Aileen Fitzke, Sterling

Rabbi David Greenspoon, Leesburg

Rev. Jacquelyn Hollingsworth, Loudoun

Rizwan Jaka, Loudoun

Pastor Gerry Johnson, Leesburg

Rev. Alice King, Leesburg

Rev. Joshua King, Purcellville

Rev. Tracey B. Lyons, Loudoun

Imam Mohamed Magid, Loudoun

Robert Marro, Loudoun

Rev. Jake McGlothin, Loudoun

Rev. Dr. David Milam, Purcellville

Rev. Deborah Dodson Parsons, Leesburg

Rev. Daniel Vélez-Rivera, Leesburg

Rabbi Amy Sapowith, Ashburn

Pastor Michelle Thomas, Leesburg

Pastor Garrett Wolf, Dulles

Daniel Wray, Round Hill

Rev. Heather Wray, Leesburg

 

(156) comments

Lawman

That piece of junk is already gone. We already on to our next project, renaming Harry Byrd Highway. I keep telling you people, the Revolution is being televised. Just booted that confederate garbage out of our U.S. Capital Building. Soon as we blow the Mango Mussolini out, the renaming of the military bases are next. Want to know about the confederacy, read about in on line or in the history books.

Bredon31

Get it out of here, long overdue.

LetsBreal

Martin Luther King Jr. was against gay marriage.

Should we take his statue down?

amerigirl

Did he fight against the US? Did he try to enslave gays? He should have his opinion without harming others which he did, this is the US, you are entitled to it.

LetsBreal

You're not entitled to destroy public property because you have an opinion. If you think otherwise, then there are a whole bunch of other statues coming down. YOU ARE NOT THE ARBITER OF PROPERTY DESTRUCTION. This is a nation of laws. If you think otherwise, be prepared for other people deciding how to respond also and you aren't going to like it.

amerigirl

Aagin you have a real reading comprehension problem. Who said anything about PROPERTY DESTRUCTION? You just YOU. Please start to read the actual comments before responding, your responses make no sense.

Loudoun4Trump

Why are these people of "faith" so caught up in preaching hate and division.....give to Ceaser what is ceaser's and give to the lord what is the lord's, something like that....now we have "clergy" being political activists....your chickens have come home to roost US of KKK.....sorry, that was Jeremiah Wright, Obama's spiritual leader....

amerigirl

L4T, are you doubting their faith? The real hate and division is as they said the “shameful legacy of racism”. If you can’t get things right that you are trying to prove a point on why are you using them? I’m no Christian but to me but my reading of Matthew 22:21 Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." supports the statue removal. Slave were men and men were created by God, buildings, roads, etc were created by man and the taxes to the government. Sure typical trumpster mouth piece, bring Obama into the picture and lie about it.

LetsBreal

Get out of here with the religious crappola that the bible supports statue removal. You are a piece of work.

amerigirl

Where is your reading comprehension? Did you look at the comment I was responding to? I was making the statement that what he was saying didn't make any sense .

Jeanne T

"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."

And under no circumstances render to Caesar that which belongs to God.

amerigirl

Thanks, I knew you would know that .

Jeanne T

"Slave were men and men were created by God"

Do you now believe in God, amerigirl?

amerigirl

Nope, sorry but I did go to a parochial school and was getting to the basis of the statement. Not about me but about how the reference was used.

CindyLou

I love it!!!! It's gonna come down no matter what you say or do! As it should! Give it up amerigirl, they won't get it, can't get it and don't wanna get it! Just be happy that it's coming down! :)

amerigirl

.................and continue to use their racist slurs and see nothing wrong with it til the day they die.

amerigirl

Lets,, what is that supposed to mean?

LetsBreal

https://twitter.com/gemmaod1/status/1272876377327521793

Janni

Historical statues should stand but a plaque should be added explaining why it is offensive or has issues currently. Erasing history may mean it will be repeated.

amerigirl

You can't erase history by taking down a statue. Did it make history when it was erected? Nope.You will still learn about history in school, can read about it in books, visit civil war battlegrounds or museums. Just get rid of any type of soldier blocking the entrance to a courthouse, put up Lay Justice, get rid of the statues that represent injustice.

Jeanne T

"You can't erase history by taking down a statue."

2000 years of Buddhist history was erased when the Taliban blew up Buddhist antiquities in Afghanistan in 2001.

amerigirl

Artifacts and antiquities were erased, the history was not, The Buddhist religion still has the same history and is preserved in their most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths.

hardworkingamerican

Go right ahead and destroy selectively what statues you want too. Go ahead. Leave all the Robert KKK Byrd stuff all over as he is praised with things named after him, only because he is a Democrapp supported by Clintons and other criminal politicians. As a matter of fact, pretty soon slavery will not have existed. Because history will be a thing of the past. Now I hear the 4th of July has been cancelled by "Coonman" because it is "not inclusive" F OFF!!

Voltaire

HWA--there is nothing wrong with leaving all the monuments to Robert Byrd. Robert Byrd represented the State of West Virginia with honor for 50 years and deserved to have those monuments named after him. He stated, later in his life, that he was wrong about joining the KKK and his view on race relations.

Oldbroad

But with how everything is being measured today, no matter how long ago it happened, He and all his "stuff" should be negated.

If the Gov should go for satirizing then Burd, who was an actual member needs to be "white washed" out of history. Yup, before long we will have no history to learn from and then....if we have no knowledge of it, do we then repeat it. ALL LIVES MATTER...and it is abhorrent we must get to such extremes to have things fixed. But all this over the top negating of our past also concerns me.

amerigirl

Why would we have no history to learn from? It's not like history class takes place by visiting statues. What is the problem with moving them to cemeteries and battlefields?

Why should a confederate statue be in front of the courthouse? It makes a mockery of justice.

Voltaire

Oldbroad--no, that argument does hold. Robert Byrd is being honored in West Virginia by the people of the State of West Virginia for the work that he did for West Virginia. Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK from 1946 to 1952 when he was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and WV Senate. The people of West Virginia approved of Robert Byrd since they voted him into office for 50 years and it is their determination, not yours, that matters.

amerigirl

WAY OVERBOARD. They are talking about moving, not destroying statues, which should have been done long ago. Byrd reformed, admitted his digressions, are we a forging people to those who admit mistakes? They didn't support him when he was a KKK member. History will always be history

Voltaire

AG--according to his memoirs, Robert Byrd was an active member of the KKK from 1942-1943. He quit a year after 1943. When he ran for the West Virginia House of Delegates, Robert Byrd was not a member of the KKK and remained that way throughout his state/Federal political career.

amerigirl

Volt, didn't realize that it made it sound like he was KKK as a pol.

TomPaine

The Confederacy lasted only 5 years. That is NOT a history or heritage. I have socks with more history. Long running empires and nations develop a history. The Confederacy wasn't around long enough to develop traditions or an ethos. Give it up! You are only clinging to it to promote racism or just "owning the libs" which is a very sad place to be. Be decent not deplorable.

Voltaire

TomPaine--you are wrong. The Confederacy is a part of the Civil War period of the overall history of the United States.

amerigirl

Maybe the overall history, but most of it is Southern Heritage. Sme is beautifyl, some down right cruel.

Skyprince

I don't agree with all this "revisionist history" going on. I think we are destroying our history by taking these confederate memorials and statues down, changing the name of roads etc. Do you think every statue in the world is that of a 'good guy? I was in Florence, Rome and Athens last year. In all three cities, our guide told us that not every statue or memorial was someone to be revered, but they were part of the history of their city. Sure Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee were on the wrong side of the War, but it was history, it happened. We should learn from their lives, not hide the fact that it happened. Robert E. Lee had an exemplary career as an American officer.A son of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican–American War, and served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. He was also the husband of Mary Anna Custis Lee, adopted great-granddaughter of George Washington. When Virginia's 1861 Richmond Convention declared secession from the Union, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, he served in minor combat operations and as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Why should he be graded on three years of his superb military history? I am sure there are statues around the world for people who have done far less. I just can't swallow this one.

amerigirl

Did erecting the statues create history? History will be the same. It was a tour guide what do you think he would tell you? Let the statues go to a battlefield where people who are offeneded by them can decide if they want to see them or not.

Voltaire

AG--that works or move it to a museum where it can be properly appreciated by the public.

Oldbroad

Kudos!

Voltaire

Skyprince--I agree with your viewpoint. Robert E Lee did not want to have any statues. He felt that they would not allow the healing of the wounds that the war created. He also felt that they would stunt the advancement of the nation. He felt the same way about battlefields. The statue should go to a battlefield or to a museum where it can be appreciated properly by the public.

LoudounPulse

Nothing is happening until July 1st, so everybody needs to just chill..

Harvardmustang

The signers of this letter are the same ones who are the first to say, "Separation of Church and State ", when one may broach a political subject that is politically focused, especially conservative in nature; however now it is okay. Funny how hypocrisy becomes transparent even to religious leaders.

pual mase

This is s great example of why religious leaders shouldn’t govern. Clueless.

amerigirl

They aren't governing they are just as entitled to form an opinion as anyone else, many times much more so if they have congregations that have spoken to them regarding the subject. That's ow it works in this country. You make your voices heard and the pols take notice, just like with the protests.

amerigirl

What does separation of church/state have to do with it? It has to do with equality and injustice, churches speak out on those subject all the time.

Voltaire

AG--valid point. However, these churches shouldn't be acting "holier than thou" as there are religions that have their own dirty laundry have not treated certain groups of people with the equality that they are advocating. For example, the Catholic Church, when the West was being settled by the Federal Government, has a nasty history of mistreatment to the Native American Indians out there. The Catholic Church refuses to acknowledge this but it is okay to criticize other people for "injustice". That position is kind of hypocritical.

amerigirl

I guess it's on how you read the letter I didn't think it was a "holier than thou" statement but supportive of peoples being treated humanely.

Oldbroad

Thank you! And Mrs. Thomas lives in, if it were in her favor to point out, one of those upper class "white neighborhoods"...Rivercreek! She's black but she's all about the politics and the press when it suits her. She gives me the shivers!

amerigirl

There are "white" neighborhoods in Loudoun? That is disturbing.

Voltaire

Oldbroad--can you prove that Rivercreek is a "white neighborhood"? No, you cannot so this is a blanket characterization and that is wrong.

loudouncommonsense

For all you "traditionalists" who don't like Yankees, don't want to surrender the "very fine history of the South," want Loudoun to maintain sordid imperialist statues etc. etc..... Get Over It! The North won! (you seem to forget that fact)

The victors get to write the history of any war, so suck it up.

Voltaire

LCS--there are several issues here. One, nobody is disputing that the North won the Civil War. That is historical fact and is undisputed. Two, nobody is surrendering the "very fine history of the South" as that too is part of the historical record. Three, you cannot equate imperialism with the United States. The United States has never been an "Empire" and thus imperialism doesn't fit. That applies to colonialism under the European empires, such as the British Empire. Four, there is nothing to "suck it up" as the historical record for the Civil War period (1861-1865) has already been written and therefore there is nothing more to write on the subject. As to whether Southerners like Yankees, we're all, whether you like it or not, Americans and should get along. BTW, there is also nothing wrong with being a traditionalist either.

darth

The U.S. is imperialist in many ways, usually more subtle than raw force, but we still like to control events in other countries. From regime change to oil and resource development by U.S. based companies, our influence is global. Remember we invaded Iraq in 2003 to ensure access to the then largest untapped oil resource in the world.

Voltaire

Darth--ok, so that is the international political economy that we live in. Nothing wrong with that. It is logical for nations (be is USA, European Union, Russia/China) to compete for resources.

amerigirl

If the traditions has merit.

Voltaire

AG--true, but that is a question for the individual to determine.

LongtimeLoudouner

I am a first generation American. In ‘74 while I was still in college, my parents retired to Leesburg from Arlington. Summer swimming and diving team competitions between community pools in Arlington was a big thing growing up and our parents were very involved. I was on both the swimming and diving team for 12 years. Being an art major, my first year living in Leesburg I obtained a summer job working for Loudoun Parks and Rec as their summer arts and crafts coordinator. Hoping to also possibly volunteer assist the diving coach, I asked the director who I should get in touch with. I was shocked to find out Leesburg did not have a public community pool. I was even more shocked when he told me why! Years later there still wasn’t a community pool. My own children growing up in Leesburg were denied fun summers at a community pool because of racism. Ida Lee’s outdoor pool wasn’t built until after they graduated from HS.

For those who don’t know, Leesburg used to have a community pool. Here’s the history why it was removed and why I think the Confederate soldier monument should take its proper place in a museum and be replaced with one that celebrates Loudoun’s diversity with equal rights for all!

“ Desegregation in Leesburg was a gradual and generally peaceful occurrence that resulted in desegregated lunch counters as early as 1961. Loudoun County schools began desegregating in 1963, and were completely integrated by 1968, when the African-American high school, Douglass High, closed. However, in the summer of 1963, parts of Leesburg remained segregated, including the baseball field and swimming pool.

Leesburg volunteer firemen's swimming pool, which was built in 1956, was a public pool for white swimmers only. After successfully protesting to integrate both the Tally-Ho Movie Theater and Village Lanes Bowling Alley in the early summer of 1963, Leesburg's African-American community, including leader Gene Ashton (1946- ) and his sister Gertrude (Ashton) Evans (1948- ), turned its focus to the swimming pool. Even after several weeks of peaceful protests, they did not have any success; the firemen persistently refused to let blacks in. The swimming pool remained open for the remainder of the summer, but was still segregated. In 1965, one year after President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination based on color, four African-American children were again refused entry to the Firemen's Swimming Pool. They and their parents filed federal suit under the aegis of Civil Rights Act. The following spring, the court ruled in favor of the children and ordered the firemen to allow black swimmers into the pool. The firemen refused and closed the pool to avoid having to integrate. The pool remained closed and in 1968, the land was sold and the pool was filled in with rocks and cement. It was not until 1990 that Leesburg again had a public swimming pool and not until 2009 that it had an outdoor public pool.”

mschnittker

There should be a referendum that requires 2/3 to pass, not a simple majority. The Board of Supervisors doesn't have dictatorial powers, at least I don't think they do. Northern VA is full of Yankee transplants, they should not be allowed to vote. Will the statues be put in a museum? How about my driveway? It's all ridiculous. Why don't we change the name of Washington, DC which is both a slave owner and the Italian fellow who discovered America and stated the native American genocide. Blow up the Washington and Jefferson memorials. We must immediately set free Puerto Rico and Guam and any other colonial possessions, return Hawaii to whoever thinks they are real Hawaiians. Washington state needs a new name. Columbia river. Columbus Georgia. Ridiculous..

amerigirl

No but they ran n that platform and they won so they are doing what the majority asked them to do. Did Washington or Jefferson fight against the USA ?Ridiculous

Thebroof

Democrats hate being reminded of their fight for slavery. They call you racist for judging an individual based on content of character over skin color. Democrats have been and always will be the party of racism.

amerigirl

You know what democrats hate even more? Having to give history lessons to republicans, so look it up. The democrats and republicans switched party platforms, they’ll tell you all about the Dixiecrats and everything. Love the way you don’t know history but can use it to try and place blame, pure ignorance.

Phil Tatler

Exactly! Dems put it up, now they want to virtue signal for the election and tear it down. Oh--and telling the truth nowadays is "hate speech"!

amerigirl

You didn't take history either? Truth isn't hate speech what are you talking about?

Jaws

While we are at it lets remove the Vietnam Memorial as well. We didn't win that war and we were over there for the wrong reasons. We can also say the WWI and WWII were pre-civil rights. All those guys shouldn't be remembered either as they lived a life not honorable to today's standards.

Got to love election years in this country.

amerigirl

How insane a remark. US soldiers, not confederate soldiers fought in the Vietnam War, and they weren’t promoting slavery. You must be one of those “let me go to extremes” people that can’t take anything seriously. Did any of those “guys” fight against the USA? Did they promote slavery and owning another person in the US? This ihas been goung on for awhile not just election year, catch up.

LongtimeLoudouner

This Confederate statue and others like it have a proper place waiting for them in museums along with the truthful history behind them. Those Americans who think they should stay up just because “it’s our history,” and us other w h i t e Americans, have no idea how the public display of these statues and confederate flags are blatant reminders of the mistreatment of their ancestors and even of today’s r a c i s t injustices that still exist. Germany has no monuments that celebrate N a z i Armed Forces. None! Instead they have monuments to the victims of its murderous racism. It was a slow process, but German society finally came to terms with their violent r a c i s t history and did the right thing. The United States should do the same!!! (My comment was denied “due to the presence of profanity.” I used no profanity, so I spaced the lettering of certain words I know are not profanity.)

Voltaire

LL--I agree with you that the Confederate statue should belong in a museum. There is nothing wrong with people who lost loved ones serving the Confederate States of America who want to honor their heritage and it is wrong to belittle them. The Confederate flag, using an objective perspective, is a symbol that represented the states of the CSA during the Civil War. That's it. Now, there are some people who believe that it is a symbol of racism. There are also some people who believe that it is a symbol of heritage. Each person has to make his/her independent conclusion about the flag's "symbolism". However, as I stated, history looks at the Confederate flag as a flag that represents the states of the CSA.

As to Germany, there are monuments representing the men who died during World War II in service to the Wehrmacht (in addition to the Luftwaffe/Kriegsmarine). There are no monuments for the N a z i party or the Fuhrer. In addition, the argument that the entire German military apparatus was entirely part of the "N a z i armed forces" is false as every member of the armed forces was not a card-carrying member of the party. That is false and cannot be proven.

amerigirl

Suddenly N a z i is profanity, not histroy

Voltaire

AG--true. However, I think that people need to understand the context/history of the time before paintbrushing everyone as one thing or another.

amerigirl

Volt, I meant LTM, they won't let you put it in a comment anymore.

Voltaire

AG--Gotcha. Yeah, I found that to be annoying. There are some other words that have multiple meaning such as the word "reta*d" (meant to slow) but they called that profanity too.

jke

Fake outrage and fake healers!

amerigirl

Doesn't understand equality or religion.

jke

I wish you would stay away from my comments I don't want to have to travel through your non stop drivel to get to other points of view.

amerigirl

Too bad. If you were smart you just wouldn't read them, just an idea.

WesternSky

Erase history at our own peril. Next some may want to burn the Bible as it contains some aweful things.

amerigirl

Please tell me how history will be erased? Do you think the books will change? What will happen to history, did history change when the statue was erected?

November Blue Wave

I hear the Parallel Wine and Whiskey Bar in Ashburn has expanded their patio. Maybe the racist owner can find room for the confederate statue there.

springerdad

Thud.

NativeLoudouner

How ironic does one find that the current President of Loudoun Chapter's NAACP is a pastor? Michelle Thomas is a Senior Pastor at the Holy & Whole Ministries International in Landsdowne/Leesburg? Folks, Let me tell you there are just as many Loudoun Christians & non believers that do not wish to see it removed and playing this card is a non christian move.

amerigirl

Why wold that be ironic? I have serious doubts there are just as many Loudoun Christians & non believers that do not wish to see it removed. That was the platform that people ran on and they were elected by the majority. This is about equality, no playing some card.

rguyshipe

Thank you to these leaders making this statement together. I would happily add my name to the list as a pastor. The statue on the county court house grounds is not meant to help us remember our history (a good goal). Its purpose is to honor individuals who fought for the Confederacy. Our community should not have given that public honor and should not continue to do so.

Pastor Rich Shipe

Harvest Bible Ashburn

Voltaire

Pastor Shipe--the historical record shows that there were some members of the Loudoun County community who served in the armies of the Confederate States of America (CSA) and fought/died for their beliefs. Further, the historical record shows that Loudoun County, as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia was part of the CSA. But you believe that it is not right to honor those citizens because they fought for the CSA? Really? That is our history, whether you like or not is immaterial. What should we do ignore them? That is irresponsible to say the least. You may not agree with the political aims of the CSA, however those people, regardless of their affiliation to the CSA, were children of God, and if God can forgive them for their views then we should be able to do so as well and recognize them, no? President McKinley said it best when he cited reconciliation between the North and South in a speech that followed the conclusion of the Spanish American War on December 14, 1898: "Every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate Civil War is a tribute to American valor."

amerigirl

But that is as you said because the county was part of Virginia. That was decided by the Virginia assembly not the people of Loudoun some precincts voted as much as 7 to 1 against the Ordinance of Secession. But either way that is no reason to have a symbol of injustice in front of an institution of justice. If graves are tributes then the statue should go to a graveyard.

Voltaire

AG--I have no problem with moving it to a Civil War graveyard.

pual mase

Another meaningless gesture from people who would rather remove statues and march down streets than do something constructive actually improve their own and others lives. Better to address the single parent homes, generational public assistance, education and drug abuse .........but that’s not as easy as blaming others and trashing symbols.

If the house is burning, changing the curtains isn’t going to help.

Mike Kay

Pual Mase: Ever the alt rightee. Yeah, what's your recommendation to address these social ills? Defund social programs? As always, looking for something to complain about like the other whiney faux libertarians.

pual mase

Mike

You are starting to ask intelligent questions now . That is progress for a dunce.

Start thinking about solving the real problems iinstead of making excuses like “inequality “ caused me to have a child out of wedlock, drop out of school and take drugs.

amerigirl

pual, why are you calling him names? Is you ego so fragile that it has to get a boost by cutting others down? You are so obsessed with the child and marriage thing. Why? Do you think that all families are the standard mom dad kids? You think because they are black they will drop out of school and take drugs? Is the some prerequisite for being black in a low income area?

amerigirl

Only to u and your kind. This means a lot to others. Inequality is what caused the problems you mentioned and equality is addressing them. The trashy symbols can go elsewhere.

pual mase

I’m sure walking the streets with BLM signs is going to convince absentee fathers to raise their kids and get an education.

Your welcome back in the real world whenever you are ready.

amerigirl

What is your obsession with absentee fathers? The reality, should you deal with it. is that they can collect aid for the children if the fathers income is not counted. If the father lived there they income would make it harder to survive. How about getting a better education so they make enough money that they can live with their families? You can't convince a father to live with his children if it means his children will go hungry.

amerigirl

How stupid, it is to change the conditions that cause the problems. Again with absentee fathers, good god! It is a demand to have things changed to support people of color so they can get better education, be treated fairly, You should check out defunding, it is less cops take the jobs away they shouldn't be doing anyway, create programs to help the impoverished and those with problems. Instead of expecting cops to deal with those n a mental crisis have actual people trained in dealing with it respond, that type if thing. You don't seem to have a clue why fathers don't live with their families, or when they do they can't admit to it do you? It is funding.

darth

The defund police movement is to take funds from police and use them to do what you say should be done: Use them for better education, drug abuse assistance and other social programs that are known to work. The only ones blocking this are the conservatives who only want to lower their own taxes, pay for more police to protect the wealthy, and not provide any help to the working class.

Voltaire

Darth--the question is how much funding does the "defund police movement" want to take? I have no problem with law enforcement being reformed as there are areas within law enforcement that reforms need to happen. Abolishing/dismantling law enforcement is not acceptable at all. Law enforcement is a required public good and has to be maintained in order to maintain civil society. You dismantle that you are encouraging the reemergence of vigilantes (lynch mobs, posses, etc.) that will destablize society. On your other point, can you prove that the conservatives only want (1) lower taxes, (2) more police to protect the wealthy, (3) not provide any help to the working class? No, you can't say that all conservatives either want that or not. That is a blanket characterization.

amerigirl

It all depends on the set up of the individual dept and how it needs to be restructured. There are some cities that instead of stopping the crimes with intervention they just keep hiring more cops, they need more restructuring. There are places where it is not such a problem because they have a better social service depts.

pual mase

Maybe you should ask your liberal elected officials to divert some of the taxpayer money funding bloated civil service and teacher pensions that are bankrupting municipalities.

Mayrbe reduce the staff overhead in schools.

Unfortunately we having be throwing money at these problems for decades with little results.

Cultural issues aren’t easily solved with more spending.

amerigirl

pual, that was spoken like a true fascist. They are democrats. The system was set up way before they took office and contracts were signed. Like you said, decades. There is this thing called breach of contract, that keeps them from doing things. But that is not the subject here

Voltaire

AG--actually, the State of Michigan had to intervene with the City of Detroit due to years of financially mismanagement. The Governor appointed an "Emergency Manager" and the city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy and went before a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge. As the city was declared bankrupt, the Emergency Manager was able to void those contractual arrangements and rework them. As a result, Detroit now is in a better financial position in terms of municipal finance.

amerigirl

Pual, you just contradicted yourself. When people march down streets, they are doing something constructive to make changes in the way the system works. It’s working. Improvement of living conditions will provide a better environment for education and ending the cycle they are in now. If they want to be single parents who are you to tell them that marriage is the only lifestyle? That is not your decision to make. As usual en extreme reply to what is really happening.

stopit

if your child was stolen from you, sold, never to be seen again, where would you want to put a statue honoring the people who supported that? not at my courthouse!!!

Voltaire

Stopit--that practice you identified occurred over 150 years ago, is part of the historical record, and doesn't exist anymore in this nation. Now, concerning the statue, I believe, as General Robert E Lee did, that there shouldn't be any statues glorifying the Civil War as it does inflame the population and retards the advancement of this nation. Also, unless you personally paid for the construction of the courthouse, it isn't "your courthouse". The courthouse belongs to the community as the community paid taxes which was used to fund the construction of the building.

amerigirl

But the statues represents people from also the same time period that did those types of things.

Voltaire

AG--not necessarily. The subject of the majority of the Confederate statues is military be it leaders (Lee, Stonewall Jackson, etc.), soldiers, or units (artillery). You cannot say that they "did those types of things" as they didn't. There are no statues for plantation owners. There are a few statues of Jefferson Davis and they should be moved to a museum.

amerigirl

Volt, But they were not put up at the end of the civil war, almost everything erected at that time were commemorative markers recognizing soldiers who had died. The vast majority of Confederate monuments were built between the 1890s and 1950s, which matches up exactly with the era of Jim Crow segregation. Yes, there were statues to the military leaders, but why are they still around in the public? They glorify cause of the Civil War. The glorify the cause the USA fought against. Those exact type of things.

Joeespo01

The Taliban In Afghanistan started their destruction of the Afghan people by destroying their history. They tore down Chinese statues to rid the country of its past.

Just look at that country as a mirror of America. If destroying history will help the Leftist turn this country into a third world cesspool unfortunately it’s working.

These so called Clergy will be the first to be eliminated by the Leftist who have a track record of destroying houses of worship.

Religion is barred from these Countries,

for love and justice

It's not destroying history, but putting it in its place, places like museums. Those in the statues weren't just fighting for State's rights, but to keep the institution of slavery for which they and their countrymen/women had depended on for far too long. It's not leftist, it's people as people. Truly people are the middle and all in the end are the middle.

Virginia SGP

What % of Southerners owned slaves?

If the war was over slavery, why did the North deny that in seeking support from Britain?

If the conflict had nothing to do with economic disputes, why did Andrew Jackson send warships to Charleston in the early 1830s when there was no discussion of a civil war over slavery?

amerigirl

Does that matter? What % of states said that was part of the reason they succeeded? How many said they felt that with Lincoln being elected they thought abolition would happen and they were against it?

Voltaire

Virginia SGP—concerning the percentage of Southerners who owned slaves, the 1860 census shows that in the states that would soon secede from the Union, an average of more than 32 percent of white families owned slaves. Some states had far more slave owners (46 percent of families in South Carolina, 49 percent in Mississippi) while some had far less (20 percent of families in Arkansas).

As to the North asking for help from the United Kingdom, that did not happen. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland remained officially neutral throughout the American Civil War. It legally recognised the belligerent status of the Confederate States of America (CSA) but never recognised it as a nation and neither signed a treaty with it nor ever exchanged ambassadors. Over 90 percent of Confederate trade with Britain ended, causing a severe shortage of cotton by 1862. Britain financed blockade runners that sent munitions and luxuries to Confederate ports in return for cotton and tobacco. Top British officials debated offering to mediate in the first 18 months, which the Confederacy wanted but the United States strongly rejected. However, during the American Civil War, Russia supported the Union primarily because its main geopolitical enemy at that time was Great Britain, which was sympathetic to the Confederacy.

Concerning the use of military force in Charleston, Andrew Jackson, after the passage of the Force Act, sent eight U.S. Navy ships and 5,000 soldiers to Charleston in response to South Carolina’s attempt to unilaterally nullify a Federal Tariff. That crisis was averted when Congress agreed to modify the objectionable Tariff over the next decade, and South Carolina alone, and looking at a military confrontation with the union backed down.

LoudounClear

Destroying monuments erected by those who wanted to continue the war against the United States by other means. The whole "Lost Cause" myth machine was aimed at reversing the gains of Black Americans during Reconstruction and bolstering the growth of Jim Crow laws that followed. No reason to honor that bit of our past by saying what they did can't be undone because it is "history." The whole "Heritage not Hate" construct is absurd. I do notice that many have replaced the Confederate flags on their cars & trucks with the little defaced American flags that have a blue line on them (e.g., "Blue Lives Matter"). That tells you something about the moment we're in, doesn't it?

Voltaire

LC--unless properly removed by the applicable authorities, the destruction of ANY monument is considered by the law to be destruction of public property and the perpetrators should be arrested/jailed. Whether you like it or not, the Confederacy is a part of the historical record and is FACT. There is nothing wrong with the "Heritage not Hate" as there are families who had loved ones die in that war and it is their right to pay their respects the way they see fit. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with being pro-police ("Blue Lives Matter").

amerigirl

The assembly changed that last year. There are families of union soldiers that died also. There are families of slaves that have to deal with the injustice to conduct business in the courthouse. That does not belong in front of a courthouse it represents injustice.

loudouncommonsense

joeespool: baseless and uninformed commentary, the inflammatory rhetoric of someone who can't distinguish the U.S. from another country and has no comprehension of American values. Pity. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste on writing this drivel.

Mike Kay

Joe: Have you seen any statues of Hitler lately? Me neither. This kind of stuff belongs in books and, possibly, museums for neo confederates. Your "high horse" is beneath the mud.

Jeanne T

Yes, the Taliban did just that when they blew up Buddhist antiquities in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001. ISIS also destroyed the tomb of the Jewish prophet Jonah, located in Mosul, which was ancient Ninevah, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empires. The history of destruction of other cultures under jihad goes back 14 centuries, conquering and subjugating many, many cultures (dhimmitude), sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa, enslaving the peoples and tribes of these nations. It also destroyed the libraries of classical civilization. The destruction and subjugation is still occurring.

amerigirl

That happened in Germany too. Got rid of all the Adolf statues, not such a bad thing. Moving a statue does not change history. Seriously, haven't we all learned what Hitler did even though there are no memorials to him? That country is not a mirror of America, those were older than this country. If you think this is a leftist move instead of a move towards equality than you're are sad, very sad.

Jeanne T

Not everyone has "learned" from what Hitler did in the right way. Many are still applauding it; some deny the Holocaust ever happened. Israel has many enemies who want to drive that nation into the sea. The destruction of Israel is in their very charters.

amerigirl

There will always be people like that, it's sad. The problem in this country is the explosion of white nationalist since trump took office. I bet they were always there and we didn't realize it until they had that feeling of acceptance. If I remember right the crimes committed by them has skyrocketed.

GoodOlLoudoun

Wait a second. Most of these clergy are from religions with history. Do they interpret their religious writings based on the standards of today? Like history can be changed, so can their religions be changed? Maybe they already are.

amerigirl

Doesn't all religion have history? I haven't a clue what you mean by that. Please say who and what.

springerdad

Thankfully I am an atheist. It is scary to think how much money is given to the church based on a fake person in the sky.

Can we move this stupid statue already so we can get on to other stories.

CindyLou

Wow, I can't believe for once we agree and I am Catholic! See, people can get along. Who would think and atheist and a Catholic would agree on something!! Keep religion out of my politics and move these stupid statues.

Voltaire

SD--since the Loudoun County Government is the party that will either be directly or contracting with a private firm to remove the statue, the answer is no as they have to follow regulations and processes and that takes a lot of time, particularly if they contract with a private party.

springerdad

volt -

Then lets just get the LCG to commit to removing it at some later date so all these stories can just stop.

The folks at LTM will keep rehashing this story to generate clicks and keep the folks in Loudoun yelling at each other.

Voltaire

SD--I agree with you but that government doesn't work that way. As to your second point, I totally agree about the "click bait" and, based on the tone of some of these posters, the hostility levels are increasing quite dramatically. A couple of these comments were blocked because of threats. Wow doesn't do that justice...

springerdad

Volt -

My fear is someone is going to take their threats too far and then Loudoun will be front page news across the country.

Too much time is spent trying to divide us instead off unite us.

amerigirl

That would be nice but a bunch f the good old boys said they want their voices herd first.

springerdad

AG - The threats today were not from a good old boy. That is why there are no comments allowed on the one article.

Voltaire

SD--agree with you. I saw that today with a poster directly threatening another poster. It was so bad that LTM shut down the comments section. Also, the choice of language (level of profanity) is also bordering on the absurd too.

amerigirl

springer, not sure what you're talking about with threats or a page. I thought it was the BOS that wants to have community input before removing the statue. No?

springerdad

AG - It was on the story about Parallel wine. Lawman went overboard today and the comments were shut down.

amerigirl

springer looks like I missed all the excitement. Thanks for letting me know.

amerigirl

Thank you! from another atheist!

DBC

Life long Republican here and strong Trump supporter as well. There is no place for statues to Confederate soldiers on government property. The Confederacy existed and seceded for one reason: to maintain slavery. For those who say, "It was about state's rights." It was, and the "right" the South wanted was to enslave black people. The fact that Lee may have been a great military tactician or that the average Confederate soldier was just an "average family man" is important to history and a great place to learn about those things is a museum, and that is where statues depicting Confederate soldiers should be. To not understand these are offensive to black people as well as many non-black people is short sighted.

Voltaire

DBC--I agree with you that the proper place for these monuments/statues should be in a museum. Even Robert E Lee said that there shouldn't be any statues erected after the war. He also said the same thing about battlefield preservation too.

ChocolateDinosaur

Replace it with a monument honoring somebody that matters. As Attorney General Barr told the American public - “History is written by the winners". Sorry, losers, cry about it at your KKK meeting.

Voltaire

ChocolateDinosaur--the Attorney General is factually wrong. That source of that quote, although unsubstantiated, goes to Sir Winston Churchill. Actually, from a historical standpoint, the Confederacy does matter and is a part of said record. Not everyone who fought for the South was a member of the KKK. There are active chapters of the KKK in the Midwest and other parts of this nation. Why have a monument at all? Why not have a historical marker that explains what battles were fought in this county and who died?

RoundHillGuy

There is no KKK in Loudoun County. If you believe otherwise, tell me where they meet? life long resident, have never encountered KKK. This is a leftist lie to stoke division.

amerigirl

There are plenty of KKK in Loudoun. They may not meet here but they put out enough recruitment fliers.

amerigirl

I vote for Lady Justice. Representative and neutral.

Voltaire

Works for me.

Alex Jones

And this is why I do not attend your churches, you are failures at what you do with your feel good sermons. Your forefathers would be embarrassed at your actions.

amerigirl

I'm sure they don't miss you. Keep living in the past.

Alex Jones

This is what communist do!

amerigirl

What??? Another conspiracy theory?

LongtimeLoudouner

It’s what Germany did to heal from their past and they are not communist.

Voltaire

LL--you are wrong. From 1949 to 1990, the eastern part of Germany was the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The GDR was a communist country and part of the Eastern Bloc with the Soviet Union.

amerigirl

Pretty sure that Germany was told what they had to do to survive by the allies ( (Potsdam conference). The war capabilities were destroyed, Munition plants, naval yards etc. "level of industry" plans were set up to set them up as a country of agricultural and light industry economy, they really had no say n hat was going to happen.

BLT

It has taken quite a while for people to put this monument in its proper context. Moving it off the courthouse lawn and off the heart of the county is the good and right thing to do.

Voltaire

BLT--removing a monument off the courthouse lawn doesn't necessarily means that it changes the "heart of the county".

amerigirl

but it could help the healing.

Jeanne T

The hearts of men will never be changed by removing statues. There is only one remedy for that.

amerigirl

But the indignity to people of color who have to deal with it will be gone, that's a start.

Jeanne T

LOL

Oldbroad

Then a statue or plaque commemorating the removal of a statue will go up! I take exception to the plaques re lynchings! That is NOT moving on...I feel like I'm having my nose rubbed into something I had nothing to do with. If the statue offends Blacks, do they not think those plaques offend Whites? Aren't we perpetuating the "history " we are trying to eradicate by removing the statue?

amerigirl

How does that perpetuate the history? The thing is it is a disgrace to have that symbol of injustice in front of a hall of justice, move it, put in Lady Justice, a fountain, or nothing.

Voltaire

Oldbroad--wow, why should the taxpayers of this county pay for the erection of a plaque or marker that commemorates the removal of a statue? The answer is that they shouldn't as that premise is absurd. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the erection of a plaque that discusses the history behind the battles in Loudoun County and identifies the names of those individuals, be it Union or Confederate, who fought and died here. How does the erection of said historical marker have any connection to lynchings? The answer is that it does not. Also, nobody should be advocating the "eradication of history" as you are proclaiming. That is wrong.

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