Gov. Northam nullifies law protecting historical monuments, expected to remove Gen. Robert E. Lee statue

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Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia is expected to announce today that he is taking down the iconic statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. The statue is apparently heading to storage until officials determine its new location.

Civil rights activists have long called for the removal of the Lee statue, and the immediate area has been the site of protests following the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Northam, a Democrat, signed a law that goes into effect as of July 1 that “undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate,” AP reported.

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus called Northam’s decision “a step in the right direction in the continued fight to address institutional racism, systemic disparities, and remaining vestiges of Jim Crow in our Commonwealth.”

As you may recall, Northam refused to step down last year after a presumably career-ending yearbook photo emerged that allegedly showed him either in blackface or wearing a Klan robe. Northam apologized but later backtracked and claimed neither photo was him. Northam somehow acquired the nickname “coonman” while in college and also admitted to wearing blackface on several other occasions.

Despite this racially charged controversy that would obviously doom any Republican office-holder or most Democrats for that matter, hypocritical Virginia Democrats did not force him to resign, and he will finish out his term that ends in 2022. Various backroom deals likely occurred with Virginia liberal power-brokers to allow Northam — a doctor who seemingly expressed support for infanticide —  to hold on to his job.

In November 2019, Democrats took control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in more than 20 years, and Northam has been signing bills of all kinds that advance the left’s agenda.

Four other Confederate monuments are situated on Monument Avenue, and Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney plans to remove them — which unlike the Lee statue sit on city land — sometime after July 1. “Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that,” the mayor said in a statement.

Reasonable people can agree or disagree about Northam’s decision. Although liberals cheered it, some Twitter users dissented from the idea of erasing history, good or bad.

 

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Robert Jonathan

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