Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced the removal an iconic statue of General Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue in the state's capital, Richmond, which has been gripped by protests over racism and police brutality.
"You see, in Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history". One that pretends the Civil War was about "state rights" and not the evils of slavery.
'Our administration is still reviewing the order, ' Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said.
Located on Richmond's Monument Avenue, the statue has been targeted with graffiti and other forms of vandalism over the past week, as residents of the city have take to the street demanding justice for George Floyd.
Confederate memorials started coming down following a white supremacist killed nine black individuals in a Bible study in a church in SC in 2015 and then again following the mortal white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
According to the deed for the land transfer, the state "guaranteed" to "hold said statue and pedestal and circle of ground perpetually sacred to the monumental purpose" and to "faithfully guard it and affectionately protect it". That legislation was amended earlier this 12 months by the brand new Democratic majority on the statehouse and signed by Northam.
The governor said the statue will go into storage and he would "work with the community to determine its future".
Northam said he recognized the nation's "tremendous pain" that has been brought into focus by Floyd's killing.
Northam emphasized the monument's enormous size in his remarks Thursday, saying that at six stories tall, it towers over homes, businesses and "everyone who lives in Virginia". "Both are lethal, especially for black and brown people".
It has been repeatedly vandalized in recent years, while many other Confederate statues have been removed from numerous locations across the southern United States. "Or to young children". This includes the statues memorializing Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and Confederate naval officer Matthew Maury.
Protesters had made the statue a focal point, calling for it and other Confederate statues to be taken down.
"I'm pleased to see it removed". The placement of confederate monuments has become a controversial topic in U.S. politics, with some seeing them as symbol of oppression while others say they are simply a part of history and should be left alone. Regardless of our common outrage for said death, anarchy and home-grown terrorism against innocent individuals is an assault upon the Civil Rights and Liberty of all Americans.
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