A towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has been a focal point on Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue for 130 years. Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that the statue would be taken down and put into storage “as soon as possible.” Four other statues of Confederate leaders lining Monument Avenue will be removed as well.
“Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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. In 2020, we can no longer honor a system that was based on enslaving people,” Northam said in a press briefing. "Yes, that statue has been there for a long time — but it was wrong then and it is wrong now, so we’re taking it down."
BREAKING: VA Gov. Ralph Northam announces statue of Robert E. Lee to be removed.
"Yes, that statue has been there for a long time. But it was wrong then, and it is wrong now. So we're taking it down." https://t.co/hd5pJl9RFK pic.twitter.com/oO54sYdP7O
— ABC News (@ABC) June 4, 2020
Amid recent protests concerning police brutality and the murder of George Floyd, many Confederate monuments have been removed throughout the South, including a Confederate statue in Alexandria, Virginia, and a monument in Birmingham, Ala.