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April 9, 2019

ACLU renews call for Lee’s Richmond statue removal

Photo/Library of Congress
The Robert E. Lee statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue soon after its 1890 installation.
By Alexandra Zernik
Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Tuesday marked the 154th anniversary of the Confederate Army surrendering to the Union on April 9, 1865. The American Civil Liberties Union used the event, which ended the Civil War, as another call for action: to remove the Monument Avenue statue honoring Robert E. Lee.

Gen. Lee was the commander of the Confederate Army and the man who signed the surrender at the Appomattox Court House more than a century and a half ago. He is memorialized at the center of the roundabout at Monument and North Allen avenues in Richmond.

There have been numerous attempts to remove the statue or move it to a museum or other location that critics deem more appropriate.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has said he wants to take down the statues of Lee and other Confederate figures on Monument Avenue. But under state law, local governments do not have authority over such monuments.

Protests, demonstrations and rallies have taken place at the Lee statue. The monument also has been vandalized multiple times.

In an “emergency” response to such events, the Virginia Department of General Services has attempted to regulate demonstrations at the monuments. The Virginia branch of the ACLU is challenging those regulations as unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, the ACLU issued a statement calling on the public to urge Gov. Ralph Northam to take action and move the monument.

“The answer to the problem of how to balance public safety and the right to free expression at this public forum is not to enact burdensome, illegal regulations,” the group said.

ACLU officials said the Lee statue, erected in 1890, is a Jim Crow-era symbol of racism and oppression.

Gov. Northam could use his executive authority to remove the statue from Monument Avenue, the ACLU said.

“The Lee Monument is a state-property island in the middle of Richmond, and if Gov. Northam is committed to racial equity, he should immediately remove this towering racist symbol,” the organization said.
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Mark House · April 12, 2019 at 9:37 am
The ACLU would be better served to take action toward throwing the current Clown-in-Chief out of the WH. He is alive and doing so much damage to this country that statues are of zero concern at this time.
Jeffersonian American · April 12, 2019 at 5:26 am
Excellent insight into the real significance and greatness of Robert E. Lee the American can be found in the following articles:

The author is considered by many distinguished scholars today as "America's Greatest Living Historian." Well worth the read, it is a continuing national calamity these facts are no longer taught in American public school elementary, high school and college classrooms:

The now rapidly disintegrating Lincoln Empire reflects what many of our nobler American ancestors in both the Continental and Confederate States Armies valiantly tried to prevent from happening here in Virginia and across the land in our current time. They largely failed, but it is precisely for these reasons their sacrifices are worthy of our honor, remembrance, education and memorialization today:

The Truth shall set us all free in our current time:
deanyj123 · April 11, 2019 at 10:27 am
Leave the statue alone. Removing it won't erase history. It's a freaking horse and rider. Northam is spineless if he tries to take it down.
BestKeptSecrets · April 10, 2019 at 4:07 pm
The ACLU, NEA, and AFT are all one sided political unions which use unions dues to place socialistic leaders in office.
AngryBob · April 10, 2019 at 1:25 pm
Y'all lost the war.

Get over it.
Mark House · April 10, 2019 at 7:09 am
Virginia was a Confederate State during the Civil War, so having Confederate statues fits. It's a statue, an inanimate object. It's the racism that still exists that we need to concentrate on, and remove from our society.
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