Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia has announced it will remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee from the state capital.
During recent protests over the murder of African American George Floyd, the monument has been vandalised. Controversy has long stirred up memorials to the Confederacy, which fought to hold black people as slaves. A round of applause erupted at a news conference when Governor Northam said they would remove the 12-ton statue.
The statue of Robert E Lee is the largest of five Confederate statues along Monument Avenue at Richmond. They’ve been rallying points in recent days during protests in Virginia, and have been tagged with graffiti, including messages saying “end police brutality” and “stop white supremacy.”
Rev Robert W Lee IV Allowed to Remove the Statue
There are hundreds of Lee monuments, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and other prominent Confederacy figures-the southern states that rebelled against the federal government in the US. Some see the memorials as markers of US history and southern culture, as well as Confederate flags. But they serve as an offensive reminder to others of the history of slavery and racial injustice in the country.
Rev Robert W Lee IV, the Confederate General’s great-grandfather, gave his blessing on removing the statue at the news conference on Thursday.
Following the protests in Charlottesville in 2017, the debate about Confederate symbols renews attention. It triggered by the decision of the city council to remove a Lee statue. The resulting rally led to the deaths of a counter-protester. As they monitored the event, two state troopers died in a helicopter crash.
An independent investigation into a racist picture on the 1984 college yearbook page. It is by Democrat Ralph Northam end in 2019 with no definitive results. The report was unable to determine the identities of two individuals in the picture. It is one in blackface, and the other in Ku Klux Klan robes.