The argument for removing statues nationwide tied to the Confederacy orbited around one thought; it represents white supremacy. The argument against the removal of the figures is the idea of erasing history tied to slavery.
However, since the nationwide viewing of George Floyd’s murder caught on camera, a reckoning has ensued to remove all statues tied to the Confederacy. The latest is one of the largest and most visible statues.
The Virginia Supreme Court voted unanimously to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond. The 21-foot-tall statue of Lee on a horse is scheduled to come down on Wednesday, Sept. 8. The Confederate monument stood for 131 years in the former capital of the Confederacy as a tribute to the Civil War leader.
“Today it is clear,” said Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who announced plans for the statue’s removal in June 2020, 10 days after the murder of Floyd. “The largest Confederate monument in the South is coming down.”
Crews will take the statue down off its platform, deconstruct it into several pieces and transport it to an undisclosed location. The removal will livestream through Northam’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“Today’s ruling is a tremendous win for the people of Virginia,” Northam said in a statement. “Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value. When we honor leaders who fought to preserve a system that enslaved human beings, we are honoring a lost cause that has burdened Virginia for too many years.”