Earlier this month, a 21-foot-tall bronze statue of Robert E. Lee — perhaps the most famous monument to the Confederate general — was removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Supporters of the statue’s removal, including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), hailed the event as a triumph for racial justice.
The left has decided that Lee, the most recognized and celebrated figure of the Confederacy, is intolerable, a man who should be erased from American history. This maelstrom surrounding Lee has reached a fever pitch in recent years, as the woke movement has grown.
In short, anyone who dares mention Lee at all better demonize him as pure evil or else face the wrath of the progressive mob. This is retroactively imposing cancel culture on the past, while silencing free speech today.
In this context, Allen Guelzo’s newly released biography on the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee: A Life, is especially welcome and important.
After removing the huge statue of Lee from its pedestal on Wednesday, crews spent all day Thursday excavating a corner of the pedestal in search of an 1887 time capsule reportedly placed in the monument. But they never found it.
“Disappointing not to find the time capsule,” Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer told reporters Thursday evening.
It’s thought that there is a time capsule in the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond. The Virginia Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether or not the state can remove the monument, and in an announcement earlier this week Governor Ralph Northam said they will open the capsule when the monument is removed. He also invited Virginians to suggest new artifacts for a replacement time capsule to be placed at the site.
The Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments for two lawsuits blocking the removal of the Lee statue in Richmond on Tuesday.
A year ago, protests sparked by Minneapolis’ police treatment of George Floyd spread across the country. In Virginia, those protests spurred politicians to start removing controversial Confederate monuments. Although Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney was able to quickly remove most of the monuments on Monument Avenue, the most famous monument — a huge statue of Robert E. Lee — sits on state property ceded to the state under conditions that have complicated efforts to remove the bronze general.
Roughly 50 or more Monument Avenue residents who live nearby the Robert E. Lee statue intend to file an amicus brief with the Virginia Supreme Court in support of Governor Ralph Northam’s plan to remove the controversial monument, a lawyer representing the group said.
Local residents organized the group called Circle Neighbors after a Richmond Circuit Court judge ruled earlier this week against three plaintiffs, who also live near the monument, seeking to block the Commonwealth from removing the statue.
The trial over a lawsuit aiming to stop Governor Ralph Northam from removing the statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee began Monday morning in Richmond.
After the death of George Floyd, the Lee monument and other Confederate statues throughout the city became a focal point of the summer protests over racial inequality and police brutality in Richmond.
It’s two miles or so down Monument Avenue from the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond to the Robert E. Lee Memorial.
The capitol houses the oldest legislative body in North America – the Virginia General Assembly, which dates to 1619 when the Virginia Company, the private firm that controlled the state, appointed a governor and Council of State to rule along with 22 elected burgesses.