Loudoun-Danville Exchange Program | Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) in February 2020 welcomes guests to the executive mansion at the kickoff for the pilot exchange program between Loudoun County and Danville. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans Thursday to remove one of the country’s most iconic monuments to the Confederacy, a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.

The move would be an extraordinary victory for civil rights activists, whose calls for the removal of that monument and others in this former capital of the Confederacy have been resisted for years.

“That is a symbol for so many people, black and otherwise, of a time gone by of hate and oppression and being made to feel less than,” said Del. Jay Jones, a black lawmaker from Norfolk. He said he was “overcome” by emotion when he learned the statue was to come down.

The Democratic governor will direct the statue to be moved off its massive pedestal and put into storage while his administration seeks input on a new location, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak before the governor’s announcement.

Northam’s decision comes amid turmoil across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving.

Floyd’s death has sparked outrage over issues of racism and police brutality and prompted a new wave of Confederate memorial removals in which even some of their longtime defenders have relented.

The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street and National Historic Landmark district. Monuments along the avenue have been rallying points during protests in recent days over Floyd’s death, and they have been tagged with graffiti, including messages that say “end police brutality” and “stop white supremacy.”

It was not immediately clear when the Lee statue would be removed.

Other tragedies in recent years have prompted similar nationwide soul searching over Confederate monuments, which some people regard as inappropriate tributes to the South’s slave-holding past. Others compare monument removals to erasing history.

Confederate memorials began coming down after a white supremacist killed nine black people at a Bible study in a church in South Carolina in 2015 and then again after a violent rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017.

Also on Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to seek the removal of the other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property.

Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance July 1 to have the statues removed. That’s when a new law goes into effect, which was signed earlier this year by Northam, that undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate.

“I appreciate the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission – those were the appropriate recommendations at the time,” Stoney said in a statement, referencing a panel he established that studied what should be done with the monuments and recommended the removal of the Davis tribute. “But times have changed, and removing these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians. Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that.”

Bill Gallasch, president of the Monument Avenue Preservation Society, said he worried the statues’ removal would change the “soul” of the street, hurt tourism in historic Richmond and stir up violence between far-right and far-left groups.

The monument-removal plans also drew criticism from the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase, who is also running for governor, started a petition on her campaign website to save the statues.

“The radical left will not be satisfied until all white people are purged from our history books,” Chase’s website said.

But Joseph Rogers, a descendant of enslaved people and an organizer with the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, said he felt like the voices of black people are finally being heard. Rogers spoke from the vicinity of the Lee Monument, where another rally was taking place late Wednesday afternoon and where he described one wave of cheering after another.

“I am proud to be black, proud to be Southern, proud to be here right now,” he said.

 

(169) comments

Guest

Will the Gov erect a statue of himself in a klanhood moonwalking into a burning cross?

we know what your are Gov.

Guest

GOVERNOR - WHEN ARE WE MOVING TO PHASE II OF THE REOPENING???

Well Water Person

Its coming. Be prepared. The liberal trash in this nation are not much longer for this world.

Guest

Learn the history of the civil war and not the leftist propaganda taught in schools today then maybe read some diaries, and watch/listen to interviews from veterans who lived long enough to be filmed/recorded and visit some of the battle fields,monuments,museums, and cemeteries then after you have the facts come up with your own opinion. It was not about good vs bad it was about what authority the and rights the states had vs what authority and rights the united states government had. most of the states at that time had agreed to sign the constitution so there was question of whether a state could withdraw from that agreement.

Notmygeneral

All of this banter is moot. The statue is coming down (at last). For those of you who wish to glorify this guy and his beliefs please decide amongst yourselves who’s (private) yard it’s going in.

Voltaire

Given that the statute was residing on Commonwealth property, that decision will be made by the Governor, not you. It should be placed in a Civil War battlefield or in a museum.

Notmygeneral

Or kept in storage in perpetuity...

Voltaire

What good does that do? Since these statutes were made using taxpayer funding, the best place would be either in a museum or a Civil War battlefield where the return on investment would be something positive.

pual mase

Congratulations notmygeneral

You have achieved a goal of removing a statue. I sure this will cure the problems of crime, broken families, drugs, etc. in the black community.

Why don't you try renaming cities and towns too and see if that works?

Why don't you try protesting and rioting......oh yeah that has been tried for decades....how's that working out?

How about getting serious and tackle the educational and family issues in the black community? How about addressing gangs and partnering with the police to address crime in black communities?

How about voting out the democrats that have governed these communities for decades with no results?

How about turning against the race justice agitators like Sharpton, BLM NAACP that show up for funerals but lead you backwards?

Seneca Falls

To everyone commenting that this statue "erases history":

No it doesn't. History is not recorded through statues. Removing this statue will not cause everyone to suddenly forget that Virginia fought for the Confederacy or that Robert E Lee was from Virginia. What it does do, however, is work to remove the glorification of the Confederacy that is prevalent in the South. Removing the statue is not a message that 'The Civil War never happened and we're removing evidence of it." It is a statement that Virginia will no longer participate in southern martyrdom and glorify those who betrayed the United States in order to fight for slavery.

Voltaire

Actually, it is a part of the overall revisionist approach. Another approach is when you have politicians such as Mayor Stoney of the City of Richmond exclaiming on local television (WWBT-12, Richmond's NBC station) that "the City of Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy..." Whether anyone likes it or not, Virginia was the capital of the Confederacy and was part of the Confederacy. That is historical fact. period. There are many people in the South who have relatives who fought and died for the Confederacy and there is nothing wrong for them to to be proud of that heritage. The politically correct, revisionist crowd have no right to try to shun them because they wish to do so.

Seneca Falls

Firstly, Stoney's full quote is, "Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that."Clearly, Stoney meant that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy but no longer stands for what the Confederacy stood for. You're right that Southerns have a right to appreciate their own heritage, but that must include acknowledgement that the South, and America as a whole, has a long and bloody history (and present) of oppressing Black Americans. The goal of taking this memorial down is not to 'erase history' or be anti-Southern. The Black Americans who live in Richmond are Southerners too! We want this memorial removed because it is a painful reminder for many and represents the white supremacy championed by the Confederacy. Even Robert E Lee himself was against these sorts of monuments, ironically.

Voltaire

Seneca Falls--OK, you are correct that is Mayor Stoney's full quote. However, he could have phrased it better because Richmond, whether he likes it or not is the Capital of the Confederacy and will be forever identified in history as such. But, I get his underlying message and actually agree with it. I agree with you that the African Americans who live within the Richmond-Petersburg Metropolitan Statistical Area are southerners too and further don't dispute that people, when viewing the Confederacy need to take a full lenses examination, including the aspect of slavery. I think that the statute should be preserved (either in a museum or a Civil War battlefield) and want the historical record to stay the way it is. That's all.

Northam_MEGA_Fan

OMG! It's about time we got that racist trash from the side of the road!! I hope we can look into changing the name of Leesburg too as it brings too many bad memories to our black brothers and sisters! I think it's time and we have the momentum to make this change happen! Look for the petition on Change.org soon!

Guest

Northam_MEGA_Fan, I assume you know that Leesburg is named after Thomas Lee who died 57 years before Robert E. Lee was born.

Northam_MEGA_Fan

LOL! Doesn't matter! The name Lee will forever be saturated with the filth of racism and white supremacy. It's a rallying cry of white privileged boomers and it will be erased.

Voltaire

Au contraire. It MOST definitely matters. Before you grab your can of liberal elitist political correctness and start paintbrushing it on everything that sticks, maybe you should learn some history/geography. But that apparently doesn't matter no?

Guest

MEGA your ignorance will victimized many innocent people including many Korean-Americans. Get a job

Guest

So will Governor Ralph Blackface Northam.

pual mase

Enjoy your pity parties , petitions and protests.

Keep blaming others, blaming statues and words you decide are offensive.

They are just self-indulgent excuses made up to avoid taking personal responsibility

.

Northam_MEGA_Fan

LOL! Taking personal responsibility?! I didn't buy human beings like they were cattle to work my fields and serve me dinner. Superior Generals like Grant and Sherman fought to abolish such putrid behavior. Let's install some real monuments to true American hero's such as African American soldiers who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Or maybe we can put a statue up for the best governor since Mr. Wilder, R. Northam! Then we can show those white supremacist knuckle draggers toting around assault weapons that Virginia doesn't want them around anymore!

Voltaire

Sorry but you are dead wrong about Northam. He pales in comparison to Doug Wilder. Not really a comparison at all. How do you speak for the entire COMMONWEALTH? Do you know what EVERY citizen in Virginia believes? No, you don't but don't let that stop you from pontificating on with unsubstantiated claims. BTW, like with the debate about Lee, there is also historical debate about Sherman and Grant (both as general and as a US President) too.

Guest

Get a clue MEGA.

Slavery ended 150 years ago.

Lashing out, taking down statues, blaming others will get you nowhere .

workhardgetahead

Maybe we can put a statue up of Northam wearing Blackface or his KKK garb.

Loudoun4Trump

Please have your governor put his hood in the closet.....we would rather not see this racist who was so proud of that picture he put it in his yearbook.....and his nickname was coonman…..hmmmm, cant wait until northum is put to the side of the road - which I think is one more year....

scottva

How about instead of rewriting history and destroying something that means a lot to others, you erect another statue that represents a meaningful historical figure to you. Why cant both sides have statues that mean something to them? Seems this is nothing more than pandering to a group of people that all of the sudden are "triggered" at the sight of the statue OR have flashbacks of slavery. Complete crap.

Guest

During Chinese Culture Revolution, communist party destroyed all the historic temples, sculptures, Buddha statues,books... anything didn't fit into communist ideologies. Sad to see this is happening in the US.

Voltaire

Guest--excellent point. [thumbup]

Pablo

ROFL! The statues commemorate and celebrates white supremacist traitors for the fact that they were traitors. It's long past time for this rubbish to be melted down.

You know, the part of the Constitution that says, "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them...."

Voltaire

Pablo--no, they represent major figures in a period of American history. Sorry, but no amount of liberal revisionist drivel is going to change that. Also, they are pieces of artwork. They should be moved to a museum or to a Civil War battlefield where they deserve to be. I believe that the Union resolved the question of whether the Confederate soldiers/officers were traitors and took appropriate action as warranted.

Loudoun4Trump

Agreed, better to be productive versus destructive...plus all will win....instead the goal of the left is to divide, foment hate, all in a thirst for power this November.....this is all about the election this november...the covid lie, russia collusion lie, ukraine lie, shift lies, lies lies....its going to be a bumpy ride until election day, buckle up....

Guest

loudoun4trump I like your username. a few more election cycles of democrats in loudoun and va and we'll be Baltimore but with beans instead of darkies.

Lawman

Handing out tissues to all you whiners tomorrow morning in front of the confederate participation trophy in Leesburg. Any of you stupid enough to wear a Johnny Reb outfit will get a tissue and a donut. Again West Virginia is accepting racist applications if you want to leave our every more progressive Commonwealth.

Voltaire

Lawman--no, your argument doesn't cut the mustard. How can you say the entire COMMONWEALTH is progressive? Is Tidewater, SW, South Central progressive too? I don't think you can label all of them as such. Who are you to tell anyone to do anything? What authority do you think you have? Whether progressive or conservative, this is still America and you can do whatever you want, as long as it is lawful. So, since you are talking racism as a job with an application, so what is the pay and benefits package for a racist? Trite and juvenile.

workhardgetahead

Voltaire, dont get in the gutter with Lawman.

He is nothing but a group think, far left radical Stooge.

Guest

Make sure you're out there taking big deep breaths. The rest of the country is trying to get behind a movement and you're too busy trying to divide us. You will be left behind and this behavior will be remembered.

Voltaire

Guest--like to make broad sweeping characterizations do we? Do you have anything "substantive" to support your premise? No, but that is how the majority deals with dissenting opinions by either ignoring them or making disparaging/snide cracks about that. Is that last statement a threat? What are you going to do about this "behavior"? Nothing, because this is America and the Constitution says that I have rights, including the right to express my opinion. Get over your smugness.

workhardgetahead

Behind a movement? You mean taken away guns and defunding the police. That's a good one. I'll keep my guns just for times that may be coming and pray they dont by supporting the police.

Ya don't say!

Can we rename the Russell Senate Building In Washington DC? It was named after Richard Russell (D-GA) who supported racial segregation. Let's rename that building the Reagan Building !!

Voltaire

Ya don't say--OK, just how many more buildings need to be named after Reagan. I am a big Reagan fan but he has multiple structures named after him (an airport in DC, a office building in LA, a Govenment building in DC).

ace10

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is located in Arlington, Virginia. Not Washington, DC.

Voltaire

Ace10--you want to get technical about it falls within the DC Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes Arlington Co.

ace10

You have a thing for correcting people on minor matters of insignificance. I'm simply returning the favor. DCA is in Arlington, which is not Washington D.C. If you meant DC Metro, then that's what you should have stated. Just sayin.

Voltaire

ace10--who appointed you as the final authority as to what is "significant"?

ace10

I'm sorry that you have such a problem with being corrected. A portion of your statement was inaccurate. I have no interest in continuing this back and forth. I made my point.

Voltaire

Ace10--point noted and duly ignored.

workhardgetahead

That's a great idea. Let's give Arlington county back to DC. The electorate will fit right in.

Guest

ISIS would be proud of their klansman governor for erasing history. I guess burning books will be next. The racist democrats of the south erected the statue and the klansman governor of today is tearing it down. Glad to see the so called progress

Ya don't say!

I see Coonman has to atone for his sins by erasing history. Anything to divert attention from his own blackfaced past. Good thing a republican didn't do what he did, or they'd be burned at the stake.

Lawman

Dang was just sitting on that joint protesting early this week. Glad I got my goodbye picture. Better go up there and get your picture of that confederate participation trophy in Leesburg. It’s nnnneexxxxtt!!! The revolution will be televised.

Voltaire

Lawman--promoting civil unrest ("revolution") are we?

KK153

They let you out of Sterling Park?

workhardgetahead

Lawman, and what is the goal of your so called revolution.

SuperGuest

The difference of course is that the Leesburg statue is a memorial to all local soldiers who died in the Civil War, all fighting for the Confederate army. You'd be removing a memorial to soldiers who by act of Congress are considered veterans of war.

Voltaire

Good point. But these people don't care because it doesn't fit their politically motivated agenda. Simply disgusting.

Guest

Your home is where the hatred is, Lawman. You need to get out of the ghetto blues and save the children. Maybe one day you might even resemble pieces of a man.

Notmygeneral

For those of you who wish to pay homage/commemorate R. E. Lee and his “Lost Cause” please feel free to erect a nice statue of the general in your (private) yard. You can even charge admission to those who wish to see it! This monument (and those like it) should not be on public land.

Voltaire

Notmygeneral--so, if someone does what you propose, will the elites not call him/her a racist? Probably not. Why not put them into a museum so that people can appreciate/learn from them? What is wrong with that?

Ya don't say!

Well, maybe we should cart the MLK memorial statue in DC into a museum also. What's wrong with that? History is history except when democrats use it to divide people.

Voltaire

Ya don't say--nobody is thinking about moving the MLK Memorial statute in DC to a museum. First of all, Governor Northam has no jurisdiction over the MLK statute as that item is in DC and under the control of the National Park Service. I agree that history is history.

Notmygeneral

Voltaire, go ahead and take up a collection from your friends and get that museum built. I for one won’t be funding it and neither should our tax dollars. We can read about his failure to overthrow our government in the history books. Statues aren’t necessary...

Voltaire

Notmygeneral--I'll ask my friends in the 1% club and we'll get back to you on it.

RandomName2019

Funny how many people want to "save" their distorted version of history. Wait until the soldier is removed from the court house. People are going to have a fit and do their best to ignore that the statue was placed on the site of a former slave market in 1908 during the height of the Jim Crow & Lost Cause movements.

Jeanne T

All history should be saved, whether you like it or not. If you don't learn from history you will repeat it. But you can't learn from history if you don't even know it in the first place.

Voltaire

Jeanne T--I totally agree with your comment.[thumbup]

trk113

There is a difference between erasing history and honoring people who have done bad things. No one is suggesting that the statue of Lee or the soldier in Leesburg should be melted down and eliminated entirely. The argument is that they should not be given a place of honor in the public square. By all means, remove those statues to a battlefield somewhere in their lines where they served their dreadful cause. It isn't erasing history, it's merely saying that places like the country courthouse should reflect the interests of the entire community. Like it or not, these people fought to destroy this country and our founding principles. That needs to count for something.

Voltaire

TRK113--OK, have you ever considered the possibility that the Confederacy, at the time, thought that what they were doing the right thing? They weren't trying to destroy this country, they wanted to secede from the Union because a variety of reasons: (1) they felt that the Northern manufacturing interests of exploiting the South and dominating the federal government, (2) states' rights--the states argue that the Union is a compact, one that can be annulled if the states are not satisfied with what they receive in return from other states and/or from the federal government, The states argue that the North's reluctance to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (mandating that fugitive slaves be returned to the South) means that the compact is no longer satisfactory, (4) dissatisfaction with federal military protection (Texas) and (5) election of Abraham Lincoln and his abolitionist tendencies and (6) slavery. They wanted two separate countries. That is historical fact. Yes, there are members of the popular opinion/political elite class that are trying to erase history. For example, Mayor Stoney of Richmond stated "...“[R]emoving these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians,” Stoney said in a statement. “Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that.” That is active rewriting of history and that is wrong.

RandomName2019

History isn't being erased, it's just being clarified. Most of these statues and monuments were erected for reprehensible reasons and the boom in Confederate imagery coincided with a movement to further disenfranchise and repress African Americans.

Voltaire

RandomName2019--the historical record should stand on its own and doesn't need "clarification". As to the second point, can you prove that? No, so that is conjecture. Those monuments were put to honor Virginians. That, no matter what spin the majority puts on it, is not reprehensible.

Seneca Falls

Thank you! I was waiting for someone to mention this. A lot of these statues (though not the one in question) were erected in the 1920s as a pushback against Black Americans moving closer to equal status with Whites.

Voltaire

RandomName2019--how is history "distorted"? Oh, you must referring to the Project 1619 study that a majority of serious historians say is revisionist and not accurate. I think that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors had settled that question and said that the soldier wasn't going anywhere at present.

KK153

you're kidding yourself if you think the current BOS will not be removing that monument the second they get the chance.

Voltaire

KK153--No, I figured that the current BOS would remove it. The last BOS was the one that said that it would stay. It is politically correct/fashionable for the liberal elite to act like Communist Russia and/or Nazi Germany and remove any and all things that they don't support, such as historical facts.

Guest

Voltaire, the Confederacy was about maintaining the institution of slavery - said all the states who voted to leave the Union as well as the leaders of the confederacy. The "states rights" argument is pure revisionist history.

Voltaire

Guest--no, actually, that is historical fact. Sorry that it doesn't fit the neat politically correct narrative that political class/liberal elites want.

Guest

He was on the side that lost. We don’t like loser right? Take it down...

Voltaire

Just because Lee was on the losing side of the Civil War doesn't mean that people can't look at the statute and learn, both good and bad, about him. Why not put the statute either into a museum or a Civil War battlefield. Virginia has more than enough of them and could accomodate the statute.

KK153

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality." - Abraham Lincoln

So when are we ripping down the Lincoln Memorial???

Jeanne T

Actually, the Lincoln Memorial and the WWII Memorial were vandalized over the weekend. Did Lincoln free the slaves??? Maybe not Did the old white WWII Veterans liberate the Nazi death camps and defeat Adolph Hitler, racists and racists that they were??? Guess I need to study history again.

KK153

I guess you do.. because Lincoln did not free the slaves...the 13th Amendment did. Lincoln was already dead. I think you may be referring to the Emancipation Procolomation... which freed slaves by executive order ONLY in the states in rebellion.... So Lincoln let the states that stayed in the Union (4 of them) keep their slaves.

By the way...99% of the German death camps were liberated by the Soviets

Jeanne T

So what if most of the German death camps were liberated by Soviets? What is your point, exactly? It has nothing to do with the fact that Americans were also involved in this, yet the WWII Memorial was vandalized? Why do you suppose that was?

Jeanne T

Why was the Lincoln Memorial vandalized and defaced? Was it justified?

trk113

Once the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. there was no turning back. Prior to its announcement, it was possible for slavery to survive the war. Like it or not, the Emancipation Proclamation was a huge step towards emancipation.

Guest

They need to lynch whoever hurt the ww2 memorial.

loudouncommonsense

Is Lincoln's quote why Trump used the Lincoln Memorial as a photo prop?

KK153

note sure...ask Obama... he used the Lincoln Memorial to give a speech in front of so maybe he and Trump had the same idea in mind. Hard to say.

Jeanne T

I'm surprised the anarchists haven't yet shown up at Mount Vernon.

ace10

Remember when nearly every (D) politician in Virginia (and the nation) demanded that the current Virginia governor (known as Coonman, to his friends) resign because of his overt racism? Yeah, me too. What ever happened with that?

Guest

Then the Democratic party heavies and black caucus realized they can make Gov. KKK/Coonman/Blackface do precisely whatever they want him to in order for him to stay in office. Another useful idiot to carry out their agenda.

Guest

REL led an insurrection against our country. Makes sense to me that the most prominent monument to the man be removed.

workhardgetahead

I guess that means every looter and rioter should be removed then too.

Voltaire

Guest--you need a history refresher. Robert E. Lee, along with the rest of the Confederacy were forgiven by the Union at the end of the Civil War.

trk113

No, they were not forgiven. Those who took up arms were paroled. That meant that they were to be left alone and allowed to get on with their lives as long as they didn't take up arms again. The Constitution makes it pretty clear that waging war against the US is "treason."

Voltaire

TRK113--if Lincoln had survived his assassination attempt at Ford's Theatre, yes they would have been. In the aftermath of the war there was no shortage of ideas on how the South should be re-admitted into the union. Of all the ideas Lincoln’s was possibly the most unlikely. Lincoln offered the Amnesty Proclamation. The Amnesty Proclamation was also called the “10 Percent Reconstruction” plan. This plan only required 10% of a states voters (not including Confederate officials) to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and adopt the Emancipation of slaves to achieve re-admission into the union. Lincoln was met with a lot of opposition from his own party, the Republicans. They were concerned that such a lenient plan would allow the southern aristocracy to return, and many slaves would be forced back into captivity. Lincoln’s main concern was the successful return of the states to a single union, and He blocked anything else which was more strict. Lincoln understood the value of forgiveness. Lincoln believed forgiveness served not just the forgiven but also the forgiver.

Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

KK153

Waging war against the US by Citizens of the US is treason. The southern states succeeded before the first shots were fired, thus they were not citizens...thus no treason.

Jeanne T

There's an insurrection occurring right now in our country as well.

Voltaire

Jeanne T--then, based upon trk113's interpretation of the Constitution, then those individuals are committing treason and should be punished. Glad this is U.S. because in Europe, treason was a capital punishment. Treason against the Crown in the UK resulted in a punishment of death by hanging. Treason in France resulted in a visit with the guillotine.

trk113

"1. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them,..." Not a ton of room for interpretation. Unless you consider the Confederate armies as somehow not having levied war against the US. Now that would be an interpretation.

BladerFool

Our Civil War was an unjust and bloody attempt 'by and for' the Southern Oligarchy. Replace Lee and Traveller with figures from WW II

Voltaire

BladerFool--OK, the Civil War happened, whether you like it or not is immaterial. World War II has a national monument in DC. Personally, though, if you are going to replace statutes, a statute of George Patton would be nice.

Jeanne T

The WWII monument was defaced.

Jeanne T

Ah, but the WWII Memorial was vandalized and defaced as well. Why would you want to replace Civil War "racists" with more white men (well, you could replace them with the Tuskegee Airmen; perhaps that would assuage the rioters and looters)??? I mean, seriously?

Jeanne T

Why not erect a statue to Gen. George H. Thomas?

Voltaire

Works for me.

David Dickinson

Will Northam wear his white robe for the ceremony?

workhardgetahead

No, his Blackface, it would mean he's up for the struggle

Duncan Idaho

I'm happy getting rid of all publicly displayed confederate traitor statues and putting them in a museum.

pual mase

I’m sure you will be sleeping better without a statue of a man, dead over 200 years, taken down.

Duncan Idaho

R.E. Lee died in 1870, but I know math is not the strongest subject of the MAGA crowd. Nor is history.

ace10

Says the guy who flubs even the simplest of math with alarming frequency. Pot meet kettle.

Voltaire

Duncan--that premise is not valid. Just because someone supports Donald Trump doesn't automatically mean that they are not good with certain subjects.

Duncan Idaho

Alarming frequency? What, once? I'm positive my math skills far exceed yours, soy boy.

ace10

LOL. Yes. Soy boy, indeed. Big talk for somebody cannot construct even a simple, cohesive and compelling argument. Case in point: OrangeManBad.

pual mase

Hey Duncan I rounded up to the nearest 100 so the dunces would get the point.

I guess you failed since all you commented on was the math.

So more to the point, is removing a statue really going to help anybody or just appease chronically offended ? Where does the useless renaming and removing end? To what end?

Voltaire

Duncan--you need to learn some history. The Union forgave the Confederate soldiers/officers at the end of the Civil War.

Voltaire

Duncan--I don't have a problem with this approach. They would be better cared for in a museum anyhow.

Guest

So the racist black face wearing governor stays but a statue has to go. Welcome to the logic of politics in Virginia.

Loudoun4Trump

To make it worse, the klansman governor is live in front of us right now, and the statue to be removed is 150 years old....sorry, I am more outraged by the klansman governor than a statue...what a pathetic excuse for a representative of VA...

Duncan Idaho

I'm even more outraged by our klansman-loving president. Oh well, another 229 days and he'll be gone.

Guest

That's right. Its the duty of a free society to erase all history it deems dangerous to the public. Qin Shi-Huang-di did the same thing to Confucius scholars and their books. The Nazis rewrote Germany's history books removing all information of the Jewish contributions in the hopes of erasing them from memory. Look how well those things worked out. This is quite the path of liberty we're marching down. Don't bother doing any thinking Virginians, just trust your woke leaders to do whats best for you.

Duncan Idaho

Nobody is erasing history, "guest", just removing a statue from a position of honor to where it rightfully belongs, in a museum.

workhardgetahead

Really, he loves Klansmen. Klansmen were democrats. Trumps a Republican.

ace10

Yes, yes. There you go! OrangeManBad.

Voltaire

Duncan--good point.

pual mase

If we put anything anyone finds offensive in a museum, it is only a matter of time before the chronically offended demand museums remove them .

I view these prominent public displays as outdoor museum of a sort, that inform, educate and beautify public places. When they say “put it in a museum”, they really mean “hide it”.

loudouncommonsense

The problem is, only one person is recognized by the REL statue. It is not a group display including statues of Lincoln, FDR, JFK Johnson, Obama etc. who fought against what Lee represents to many.

In singularity, REL's statue is a dominant enshrinement of some pretty disagreeable values and it is to the exclusion of others who have fought against those values.

Voltaire

LCS--it should be only one person. From a military history perspective, Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest generals in the Civil War, on either side. Further, he was a native Virginian and did good things for Virginia after the war and he further worked to unify this country. Contrary to what the idiotic Mayor Stoney thinks/believes/feels, Richmond Virginia WAS the capital of the Confederacy. That is historical FACT. Why would you put Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Johnson, Obama with REL? That is not logical. Plus, they have their own memorials (Lincoln has a memorial in DC, FDR has a memorial in DC and a highway in NY named for him, JFK has an airport in NY, and a memorial in Dallas TX, LBJ has a memorial grove in DC, Obama has a presidential center in Chicago, IL). It is also very wrong to paint everyone in an entire nation as reflective of its political standpoint. Did everyone who fought for the Confederacy did so for slavery? No. On a similar argument, should we paint everyone who fought for in the German Armed Forces as fascists? No, that premise was and continues to be simply wrong. Erwin Rommel, one of the world's greatest military leaders, fought for Germany, not because of Hitler or his views, but because he believed it was his duty to fight for his country. But again, this doesn't fit into the collective's desire for political correctness at every turn. They like to paint brush everything one way and dissenting opinion is ignored/shunned. Well, history doesn't and shouldn't work this way. Period.

RandomName2019

Robert E. Lee's military prowess is often over-stated. People often ignore that his poor leadership at Gettysburg cost him a quarter of all his troops. His tactical prowess lacked significant scope/dimension and that ultimately doomed him. Lee never won a battle of strategic importance and never won a battle after 1863.

That's not to say that some of his smaller tactical ideas weren't brilliant, but that doesn't mean we should idolize him. He led a rebel army against our nation, and lost. Turning his manor into Arlington National cemetery is a fitting legacy.

Jeanne T

Were Sherman and Grant were any better? And to make matters worse, they destroyed private properties of Southerners to "punish" them and allowed their men to loot and steal. Gen. George H. Thomas did not.

Guest

Y’all keep talking about rebels fighting against the us the south is bad or what ever. Wtf do you think your looters and rioters are? Tell me I’m waiting

Voltaire

RandomName2019--military historians/scholars do believe that Robert E Lee was one of the greatest Generals in the Civil War. I believe that even General Grant admired him. Again, the main reason that the south lost the war was due to its inability to maintain forces like the North. The southern economy was agricultural and did not have the industrial infrastructure to support a long campaign. That is why it asked for aid from Europe and would have received said aid if weren't for the Union Navy's active blockade. The need to disrupt the South's logistics and destroy its industrial base was one of the reasons that General William T. Sherman marched to the sea and caused as much devastation. BTW, you can thank the Union Army's Quartermaster for the idea of Arlington Cemetery being on Lee's manor.

pual mase

Agree Voltaire

debbbie

Good move, finally removing this symbol honoring those who fought for enslaving people. For those who worry about "erasing history," place a memorial for "reconciliation and peace" in its place, and place that statute in an American history museum. Same goes with any other statue that honors those who fought for enslaving people.

Voltaire

Debbbie--Robert E. Lee was honored in Richmond, not because was a symbol for enslaving people, but because he was a native Virginian who was one of the greatest generals in the Civil War. Robert E Lee also did a lot for the Commonwealth (founded Washington and Lee University), advocated for the reconciliation between North and South, and agreed with the extinction of slavery. The Civil War was more than slavery. For example, there is an economic reason that the North wanted to end slavery is that the North had to pay their people wages and the South had an economic comparative advantage with free labor. That is fact. Also, you cannot say that everyone who fought for the Confederacy fought for "enslaving people". That argument is historically incorrect. On the removal of the statutes, no, it's a bad move, because people go to Richmond partly to see Civil War historical items and the article is correct that this "good move" will have a negative impact on tourism for the City of Richmond. So, based on your last statement, then we should remove George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of our founding fathers from history too because they may have owned slaves? That is liberal revisionism at its finest and that is wrong/uneducated. Period.

One goat...

Voltaire, you do a fine job of after-the-fact burnishing of Robert E Lee and the forced labor camps he took up arms to protect. You're quick with the condescending explanations in every comment but most, like this one, have a logic hole in them. I suspect if Robert E Lee had cured cancer, found the fountain of youth and invented the lightbulb, people would still remember the forced labor camps that he took up arms to protect. As they say, you ___ one goat.

Voltaire

One goat--oh did I? No I did no such thing and further, contrary to your snide crack, my comments are based upon fact and applicable support/reasoning. I frankly don't give a toss concerning whether you like them or not. However, I have outlined the facts about Robert E Lee. Robert E. Lee is known for his military achievements as a General and is recognized as such. He is not recognized for slavery. But that's okay to you liberal elites who like to sit in their "ivory towers" and want to revise history because it isn't politically correct and makes you "uncomfortable". That is wrong. I am not even going to provide a retort to that crass piece of garbage statement.

debbbie

Voltaire-- There are many historians/scholars who argue that Lee was not a great General, let alone "one of the greatest." Especially because of Lee's strategic offensive stance that turned out to waste many southern lives and the ultimate loss of the war. Waiting out the war could have produced a much better result for the South with a defensive stance, but Lee's approach caught up with him. Think Pickett's Charge as an example. Thankfully, the North fought a general from the south (Lee) who used traditional battle tactics. I realize this is a bit off topic, but getting back to it- I stick with my previous post and it wouldn't surprise me if the majority of Americans agree. Oh, and that is why Northam is in office, because the Majority wanted him to be.

Voltaire

Debbbie--there are also many military historians/scholars who do believe that Lee was a great General. The South couldn't "wait out" the war because it did not have the industrial capacity that the North did thus that is why an offensive campaign was done. The Union Navy maintained an effective blockade that blocked the South from receiving supplies from the British and French who wanted to help the Confederacy. Actually, the reason that the South lost the Civil War was due to economies of scale and supply, not Lee's tactics. The South, by 1864, was running out of material and that caused them difficulties which led to their defeat. You have your right to say what you think and so do I, that is what makes this country work.

Loudoundad

You are correct. A college friend who later became a professor of history at the Naval Academy and I had this same discussion years ago when discussing remarks made by then Senator Dick Black. He agreed with you, and said Lee was advised Virginia was unwinnable, and to follow the Russian -Napoleon war tactic of retreating until you wear the other side out. Lee went against that advice.

Voltaire

Loudoundad--no, that doesn't cut it. The real reason that the South lost was due to lack of industrial base and the Union blockade that blocked Europe from helping the South replenish supplies. As for the Napoleon war, the reason that Napoleon lost the war was the weather. It had nothing to do with tactics. The Russian winter helped Russia push Napoleon and the Wehrmacht back otherwise Russia would be either part of the Napoleon empire or Nazi Germany.

Voltaire

Loudoundad--it is refreshing to see that we are comparing real-life history with a TV cartoon show. It says a whole lot about this society, no? There is debate, whether you like it or not is immaterial, about whether Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest generals of the Civil War. Robert E. Lee gave up the right to command the entire Union Army because he would have to fight against Virginia. But, hey, let's not look at the whole picture and paintbrush him any way that the majority wants. This is no different than what the Nazis and the Soviets did. You want to live in a society like that, do you?

Jeanne T

And what would you care about Southern lives? After all, weren't they all racists?

I'm from the North, a Yankee, descended from Scandinavians, Germans, Irish, and English (oh, and I also have a tiny percentage of Middle Eastern and Asian ancestry, but that is not really surprising). But we don't choose the time and place of our birth. And no, there aren't any slave holders in my ancestry, nor do I have ancestors who fought in the Civil War, because they didn't arrive here until the early 1900's. (However, I could possibly have distant relatives in the Middle East. I'll let you contemplate why that might be. I'll bet this is something you didn't learn in your history classes.)

But there is only one thing I remember learning about the Civil War in 9th grade American history class. It was a statement alleged to have been said by Abraham Lincoln to white abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin". He allegedly asked her "So you're the little lady who started the Civil War." I don't know if it's true, but it certainly made an impression.

The second thing that made a lasting impression on me concerning the Civil War was a trip to Gettysburg, PA, when I was just 15, the summer after that 9th grade history class. The sadness of Gettysburg was overwhelming, over 50,000 casualties in three days; between 640,000 and 700,000 total casualties for the war. I've never gotten over this. It was the saddest trip I have ever made, second only to my visit to Yad Vashem in Israel.

It's also a fact that about 100,000 Southerners fought with the Union. Oh right, Southerners are racists.

I also know that what Sherman and Grant did to the South in completely devastating it was wrong. I refuse to jump on the bandwagon that paints the South and Southerners with a broad brush, as many here do. It does nothing to heal old wounds, and it does nothing to bring people together. Sadly, I suspect that many aren't interested in doing either.

And here's another bit of Civil War history. One of the greatest Generals of the Civil War, perhaps the greatest, was a Southerner from Virginia. His name was George H. Thomas. He served in the Mexican–American War and later chose to remain with the U.S. Army for the Civil War as a Southern Unionist. He was snubbed by Grant and Sherman, who both hated him. Thomas was given command of the Cumberland. You talk about Lee's mistakes. Well, Grant and Sherman also made very serious mistakes, resulting in very large and needless loss of life. Gen. Thomas, however, did not make these mistakes. He never lost a battle, not one. He was considered "slow", but he was actually very methodical in his planning. He also did not allow his men to destroy or steal personal property, or steal the livestock of the Southerners for food, unlike other Union commanders. He said, “Time and history will do me justice,” before he died in 1870. "During the Reconstruction period, Thomas acted to protect freedmen from white abuses. He set up military commissions to enforce labor contracts since the local courts had either ceased to operate or were biased against blacks. Thomas also used troops to protect places threatened by violence from the Ku Klux Klan." (Wikipedia)

Perhaps there should be a statue to Gen. George H. Thomas on every Civil War Battlefield, starting in Virginia.

Loudoundad

We know, Robert E Lee, by his personal actions did not want the extinction of slavery. He wanted to become wealthy on the backs of the slaves he illegally inherited after his father in law freed those slaves in his will. Lee kept those slaves for himself, and a Virginia court had to "remind" Lee they were free three years later. Did you know Lee ordered brine to be poured over a "recaptured" slave's fresh whipping lacerations? How about Lee breaking up slave families, a practice the Custis family found to be a sin against God's order? After reading your argument, I am reminded of a Simpsons episode where Apu goes for his citizen exam. Before a board of three, Apu is asked, "What was the cause of the Civil War?" Apu responded with something like, "The cause of the Civil War were threefold, you had states rights versus the Federal Government, you had..." Apu was immediately interrupted by one of the exam givers who said, "just say slavery." As for the "greatest General," history has proven he fought what was known to be an unwinnable fight, trying to keep Virginia confederate.

Jeanne T

It is an exercise in futility to reason with CindyLou. She is not really interested in history.

trk113

Lee did not found Washington and Lee University. He was its president after the CW. He agreed to the end of slavery...did he have any choice in the matter? There is a big difference between Washington, Jefferson and Lee. Yes, the first two held slaves, but no, they aren't honored for it. They are honored for their immense contribution in the founding of this country. They're honored in spite of being slave holders. Lee, on the other hand, is honored by the south for his service in the effort to destroy this country. And, he did so to help create a system that was being founded in the interest of the perpetuation of slavery. That's not my version of history, that's the version of the southern leaders at the time of the CW. Read Alexander Stephens Cornerstone Speech and tell me that slavery was not the core issue in 1860.

Voltaire

TRK113--Robert E Lee, regardless of the elements that you have identified, still deserves to be in a museum as he, no matter how many statements you throw at me, is a key figure in the CW and needs to be included in the conversation of that time period. You cannot gain an objective perspective of the CW by only looking at the war from the Union. The Confederacy, and key leaders such Robert E Lee, existed and needs to be examined to understand fully the causes and effects that led to the CW. That is the point here. By not provided the Confederacy's perspective and discussing its key actors, both political and military, you are not providing that objective perspective.

Jeanne T

If these statues are so offensive, they should be destroyed, not placed in museums. Furthermore there will never be reconciliation and peace as long as people like you promote bigotry against those who share a differing point of view.

pual mase

Those saying put them in museums will eventually say remove them from museums. They really want them hidden or destroyed.

They want Lee removed now. The lLeesburg soldier is next,. What after that? Where does it end? What’s will it all accomplish except encourage the censors of history?

Voltaire

As someone has studied history, this situation is a downright tragedy, an embarrassment to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and wrong. Richmond was the capital city of the Confederacy. That is established fact. Robert E. Lee was a native Virginian and went to West Point and graduated highly in his class. He was asked to serve as the Commander in Chief of the Union Army but turned it down because he wouldn't fight against his home state, Virginia. Robert E. Lee was a proud Virginian and a gentlemen. Now we have this simpleton Governor who either due to a liberal revisionist agenda or sheer stupidity does this to him. Wrong. A lot of those Confederate generals were honorable people but they were fighting for the Confederacy out of respect for their home states. It was no different on the Union side. However, now we have Mayor Stoney, the Mayor for the City of Richmond, more interested in rewriting his city's history and taking down statutes instead of managing his city during civil unrest. He made the police department apologize for using tear gas on protesters and "vowed an extensive look into the matter." Why not let the police do what they are trained to do? Why interfere in operations? Further, you can thank him for the Executive Order for face coverings. Mayor Stoney should be recalled as he is clearly incompetent and and a disgrace to represent the City of Richmond.

pual mase

How can we learn from history if we erase it?

Hundreds of thousands of American’s died to defeat Lee’s Army to preserve the Union and abolish slavery.

Removal of the Lee statue is an exercise in political correctness to appease the chronically offended and solves nothing.

Voltaire

pual--true statement.

Tag...

So you would support leaving the graffiti up on the statues since that too is now part of history, amirite?

Voltaire

Tag--no, that is defacing public property and that should be prosecuted and cleaned up by the municipal authority.

pual mase

urrong

If a bird poops on statue it is cleaned, it is not history.

Loudoundad

Berlin was the capital of Hitler's Germany. Any statues there?

Voltaire

Loudoundad--no, but the German people have openly acknowledge that it existed and they, along with the rest of Europe, have come to terms with it. It seems that the Europeans appreciate history far better than here because I don't see Angela Merkel rewriting history to suit her purposes. That is what is happening with Northam and the removal of Robert E. Lee. Germany even has a memorial for victims of the holocaust.

Guest

@Voltaire When it comes to Germans and their coming to terms- you just showed you have no idea what you’re talking about. Germans have removed all statues, memorials etc to Nazism from public space. Many of these locations have been replaced with Peace and Reconciliation symbols and/or words. The nazi crap has been moved to museums to be placed in the correct context for future generations to learn. Some of the concentration camps remain as memorials and places to grasp what occurred inside those fences. German children are required to attend some of these sites. I have been and seen. This is a major reason most Germans have deepened their respect humanity. This is exactly what needs to occur with confederate statues on public space. They are not symbols to honored.

Voltaire

Guest--I beg to differ. I do now what I am talking about, thanks. I simply stated that the German people acknowledge that it existed. I didn't say how they dealt with Nazi memorabilia etc. You stated that. Just like the Germans did with their Nazi memorabilia, the statutes of Confederate leaders should be placed in museums to be placed in the correct context for future generations to learn.

Jeanne T

So then, by your logic, why not close Mount Vernon? Washington's wife owned slaves. Why not remove the Jefferson Memorial? Jefferson owned slaves. Weren't they racists? Besides, they were white men, as were all the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Many of the signers owed slaves. Does that mean these documents are now irrelevant?

loudouncommonsense

All the folks who just comment to register their dislike of a particular politician or call them fascist or racist, or denigrate another commenter here, or just call people names add absolutely nothing to the conversation.

Who cares what you think about people? It seems like tackling an issue with facts relevant to the issue at hand would work better to convince folks of your viewpoint.

ace10

Makes derogatory comment about the value of others comments. Then goes on to the pronouncement that other commenters' comments about other people are unimportant.

This stuff cannot be made up..

springerdad

I have no problem with this.

Voltaire

SD--you should as this is part of a movement to revision history. Why care? Because history is important to the community because History, saved and preserved, is the foundation for future generations. Historical knowledge is crucial to protecting democracy. By preserving authentic and meaningful documents, artifacts, images, stories, and places, future generations have a foundation on which to build and know what it means to be a member of the civic community.

springerdad

Voltaire - I have no problem moving it but I would have a problem hiding or destroying it. If they can find a war memorial site or other related that it can properly displayed I am all for that.

Voltaire

SD--I agree with that approach as that would be respectful.

Bonespurs under the Saddle

No history is being destroyed, hidden, or thrown out. A statue, erected during the Jim Crow era is coming down. That's all. Now if Governor Northam said he was going into every library and burning every book that mentioned Lee or the Civil War, then your argument would make a lot of sense. Right now, not so much.

Voltaire

Bonespurs under the Saddle--actually, yes it is. Frankly, I don't care whether you agree with me or not.

Guest

Can we get rid of the white hooded racist governor too.... That is long overdue for removal....

Guest

Ole Blackface the Hypocrite thinks that History will just go away by removing references to anything that he doesn't like. I hope you LWNJ's are happy with your selection of governor. He's such a tool.

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