Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue removed from US Capitol, Internet asks if 'civil war never happened'
Virginia governor ordered the removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the US Capitol building over the weekend. Pictures of his order being carried out were later posted by him on his Twitter page.
"Last night, Virginia removed its statue of Robert E. Lee from the U.S. Capitol," Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted Monday, saying, "This is an important step forward—it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion."
Last night, Virginia removed its statue of Robert E. Lee from the U.S. Capitol.— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) December 21, 2020
This is an important step forward—it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. pic.twitter.com/zyR99ukiIz
While his decision was met with mostly positive reactions, some people on social media were not on board with the removal of the statue.
"Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it!" the next quipped. One more remarked, "Sure Ralph. Agree with the important step but disagree with the removal of history. Revisionism is faint praise for the future." Another added, "Yes and I can’t wait till you are removed as governor!" A commenter asked, "So the civil war never happened?" One of them said, "This is many things, but not a step forward."
Still can't get the Lee Monument down, eh Ralph? lol— The 🐰FOO (@PolitiBunny) December 21, 2020
Klan recognizes Klan. @RalphRacist— Non tali auxilio (@mrsiefert) December 21, 2020
May we rename the rec-center in @fairfaxcounty too?! 🤷🏽♂️— Oz 🐼 Pay Me in Crypto Please (@927oz) December 22, 2020
Does the story include blackface and Klan hoods or nah?— Physics Geek (@physicsgeek) December 21, 2020
Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it!— Champion-of-the-Republic-Elect Preacher Trainer! (@PreacherTrainer) December 22, 2020
Sure Ralph. Agree with the important step but disagree with the removal of history. Revisionism is faint praise for the future.— Moehoffenstein (@Moehoffenstein) December 21, 2020
Yes and I can’t wait till you are removed as governor!— Kenneth (@kenny19385) December 22, 2020
So the civil war never happened?— Santa Pont (@PPorcius) December 22, 2020
This is many things, but not a step forward.— Tracy (@tracy_again) December 22, 2020
The statue of Lee will be replaced by civil rights leader Barbara Rose Johns, who is credited with playing a critical role in the desegregation of America. In 1951, she led a student walkout at her all-black high school at the age of 16 to protest the conditions of the institution compared to those at a nearby all-white school.
"We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country. The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia's racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns' contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did," Northam said in a statement.
Virginian Sen. Tim Kaine (D) posted the footage of the statue being removed:
4:02 am. 12/21/20. Crypt of the US Capitol. pic.twitter.com/2ttGecsj5B— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) December 21, 2020
A news release from Northam's office noted that the statue of Lee "had been one among 13 located in the Crypt of the Capitol, representing the 13 original colonies." The statue will now belong to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, according to the release.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hailed the decision, saying in a statement, "The removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee and its forthcoming replacement by a tribute to Barbara Johns, a civil rights pioneer and pride of Virginia, is welcome news. The halls of Congress are the very heart of our Democracy, and the statues within the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans. The Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate, as we fight to end the scourge of racism in our country. There is no room for celebrating the bigotry of the Confederacy in the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country."