Northam Orders Lee Statue Removed, Stoney Aiming at the Rest
Written by R. Cort Kirkwood
Bowing to the demands of the radical Left and validating its manufactured narrative of “institutional racism,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue (shown) from Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
Northam’s justification for removing Lee — commander of the Confederate Army during the War Between the States — is that the war was principally about “the evils of slavery,” and that “institutional racism” cannot be expunged in Virginia until Lee and his lieutenants are removed from public view.
Concomitant with Northam’s move, leftist Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who is black, said he will move to tear down all Confederate statues in the city, pursuant to a new law that permits local and municipal authorities to decide the fate of statues and monuments.
The only serious opposition to the purge comes from State Senator Amanda Chase, the Republican who represents Virginia’s 11th district and is running for governor. Chase is gathering signatures at her campaign website to stop the move.
Time To Wreck Richmond
Nearly forced from office for wearing blackface in medical school, Northam opened his remarks on Lee’s statue with a flat statement of fact: “I’m no historian.”
Then he set about proving it.
Despite the success of the “civil rights movement” and election of the nation’s first black governor, Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, Northam claimed that a “legacy of racism continues,” not just in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but also “as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not. But hearts are in different places, and not everyone can see it — or they don’t want to see it.”
Thus, Northam said, “it’s time to acknowledge the reality of institutional racism, even if you can’t see it.” Fighting racism includes, he said, “public policies” that “have kept this reality in place for a long time. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to reform criminal justice laws, expand health care access, make it easier to vote, and so much more.”
“In Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history,” Northam said. “One that pretends the Civil War was about ‘state rights’ and not the evils of slavery. No one believes that any longer.”
And so “in 2020, we can no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people.”
Northam did not observe that state and federal public policies provide taxpayer-subsidized food, education, legal representation, health insurance and medical care at no charge for everyone, including blacks.
Nor did Northam explain that all those eligible to vote can vote, sometimes even without identification. Even felons can vote thanks to Northam’s leftist predecessor, former Clinton hitman Terry McAuliffe, who added them to the voter rolls to get votes for the Democrat party.
As for the War Between the States, more than a few people believe its causes include tariffs and states’ rights, not least prominent historians, and President Lincoln himself said his cause was union, not abolition or emancipation.
Northam did not explain how Virginia’s “legacy of racism” — the racism symbolized in Lee’s statue — caused the death of a black man in the custody of four cops, two of whom were not white, 1,200 miles away.
Stoney: They’re All Coming Down
As for the rest of the Confederates on Monument Avenue, Stoney announced on Wednesday that statues of President Jefferson Davis and generals Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart would also come down, the Associated Press reported.
Unlike Lee’s statue, which is on state-owned land, those statues sit on city-owned property.
“Removing these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians. Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy — it is filled with diversity and love for all — and we need to demonstrate that.”
Stoney did not mention the monument for Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Confederate naval officer.
The conservative Chase disagrees: “Northam is giving in to looters and domestic terrorists instead of defending the historical monuments owned by all Virginians,” she said in the statement attached to the petition at her website. Chase continued, “If Northam is unwilling to defend a well lit, highly trafficked piece of Virginia property, he is clearly unwilling to defend your home and your business! We should learn from history not erase it! The radical left will not be satisfied until all white people are purged from our history books.”
R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.