After receiving a letter from Virginia representatives Rep. Jennifer Wexton and Rep. Donald McEachin, a spokesman for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says the governor has filed a drafting request for the Democratic state legislature to provide a bill removing the state's statue of Robert E. Lee from the United States Capitol.
Each of the 50 states has two statues on display in the Capitol. Virginia's two current contributions are the nation’s first president, George Washington, and the man who devoted himself to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Americans in an effort to end the United States, Robert E. Lee. Lee, a Confederate general, was unquestionably a traitor to his nation but has remained a hero to white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, petty fascists, weird theocrats, and conservatives enamored with the "heritage" of enslaving black Americans ever since; the statue on display was donated in 1909, and was was the subject of scorn, outrage, and ridicule even then. It also marked the beginning of a decades-long effort to install other statues of prominent traitors anywhere that the supporters of Jim Crow could find space for, and of the mythologizing of the Civil War from a brutal fight to maintain and extend the institution of slavery to the "Lost Cause" of something-something-states-rights.
Mythologies notwithstanding, Lee was and remains a traitor. He is displayed in his Confederate uniform, so that his Virginia admirers could best signal the nation that it was the murdering his fellow Americans for the cause of institutional slavery that he was being celebrated for, and not anything else. If not-racists and not-traitors prevail, the statue will be moved to a warehouse and replaced with another prominent Virginian, of which there are many, many, many to choose from.
It's been a century and a half since the end of the Civil War; it's been zero days and zero hours since its long, malignant legacy last made itself apparent on the streets, in our courtrooms, and in the halls of Congress itself. Melt this traitor down and be done with it already.
Oh, and his statue, too.
Published with permission from Daily Kos.