News

U.S.

Virginia Removes Robert E. Lee Monument from State Capital after Lengthy Court Battle

Crews prepare to remove a towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., September 8, 2021. (Steve Helber/Reuters)

Work crews removed the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from its place on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday, following a year-long court battle.

“Any remnant like this that glorifies the Lost Cause of the Civil War, it needs to come down,” Governor Ralph Northam told reporters at the site shortly before the statue came down. “This is, you know, hopefully a new day, a new era in Virginia. And in this country where, you know, we can welcome people and we can embrace diversity.”

Lawrence West, the founder of Black Lives Matter Richmond, said it was “very satisfying” to see the statue removed in comments to CNN.

“Robert E. Lee standing here on Monument Avenue is very symbolic to the Confederate mindset, you know the levels of oppression that people feel on a regular day-to-day basis,” West told CNN. “With the coming down of the monument it is also a part of coming down with those types of ideals. It brings some closure to the conversation, ‘It’s OK to be racist’.”

Northam ordered the removal of the statue in June 2020 following massive, nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A descendant of two former owners of the land where the statue stood as well as five resident of Richmond’s Monument Avenue Historic District sued last year to prevent the removal. However, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled against both suits on September 3.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Recommended

The Latest

Defending Dave Chappelle

Defending Dave Chappelle

By standing up to the woke mob, Netflix is providing a model for how corporations should respond to demands that they enforce leftist speech codes.