The iconic and historic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia is slated to be torn down on Wednesday and the Associated Press shared a little bit of its history which caused leftists on social media to have a collective meltdown.
Social justice warriors have branded the statue as a symbol of racial injustice. But others think of Lee as one of the greatest military minds ever to take a battlefield. Many history buffs mourn the monument being torn down 130 years after it was erected as a tribute to the South’s Civil War leader.
Immediately after the AP wrote their middle-of-the-road article detailing a small bit of the history connected to Lee, vicious tweets started circulating on social media.
Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid, Esq. tweeted, “This is how media advances racism & sanitizes atrocity. Robert E. Lee was a white supremacist terrorist, slave owner, and committed treason against the United States, killing hundreds of thousands of people—and yet, the @AP calls him a ‘Civil War hero.’”
This is how media advances racism & sanitizes atrocity.
Robert E. Lee was a white supremacist terrorist, slave owner, and committed treason against the United States, killing hundreds of thousands of people—and yet, the @AP calls him a “Civil War hero.”
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) September 7, 2021
Others quickly followed suit:
To be clear, Robert E. Lee was a traitor. pic.twitter.com/2KbTu4AOPl
— VoteVets (@votevets) September 7, 2021
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) September 7, 2021
Robert E. Lee now seen as a terrible racist traitor after generations of being regarded as a wonderful racist traitor. https://t.co/AIdZcIY9Ry
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) September 7, 2021
Calling Robert E. Lee a Civil War "hero" is misleading. It attributes nobility to the cause he undertook – leading an army against the federal government to defend the institution of slavery.
Someone should edit this to call him a figure instead of a hero. https://t.co/i0PeVg1G5e
— Chris Ford 🌞 (@CT_Ford) September 7, 2021
Not everyone sees it that way, however. In his day and for many years after, Lee was seen as a hero:
The noisy Robert E. Lee hatred is a recent phenomenon. Up until what seems like a few years ago, he was revered as one of America’s greatest military leaders in the North and the South, complimented by Presidents of both parties across generations. Citizenship restored in 1975.
— Boris Ryvkin (@BRyvkin) September 7, 2021
"General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation . . . Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history" – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
I’ll go with Ike’s assessment. https://t.co/B834nhecwp
— Boris Ryvkin (@BRyvkin) September 7, 2021
Why do we continue to remove statues of General Robert E. Lee while we are simultaneously erecting statues of career criminals like George Floyd? 😡🤬
— Ginger Gano (@GingerGano) September 7, 2021
Right now they're tearing down statues of Robert E Lee and next they'll be going after George Washington.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) September 2, 2021
what is the measure that defines a great commander? is it victories? the effective use of available men and materiel? the loyalty he inspires? these are necessary, but a truly great commander has vision!
General Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest american leaders ever born pic.twitter.com/z8RRxlSSnD
— nice friend (@chernayakoshka) September 4, 2021
Regardless of politics, he is an important part of the nation’s history. Removing his statue and trying to expunge him from the historical record does a grave disservice to the United States and all it stands for.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is livestreaming on social media the tearing down of the statue. He has been at the forefront of promoting the removal of the historic monument and a win in the Virginia Supreme Court paved the way for him to do so.
“Virginia’s largest monument to the Confederate insurrection will come down this week,” Northam crowed in a news release on Monday. “This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a commonwealth.”
The 21-foot bronze statue of Lee on a horse sits atop a granite pedestal nearly twice that height. It was erected in the grassy center of a traffic circle on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue.
Northam announced plans to remove Lee’s statue in June of 2020, just ten days after George Floyd died. Two lawsuits filed by residents sought to stop the removal of the statue but in the end, failed.
(Video Credit: WTVR CBS 6)
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney told Reuters whatever replaces the Lee statue should send the clear message that “Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy. We are a diverse, open, and welcoming city, and our symbols need to reflect that reality.”
Officials announced that preparations for the removal would begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday when crews were tasked with installing protective fencing. Large crowds are expected during the removal of the statue.
The statue will be hoisted off the pedestal and then cut into two pieces to be transported. Then the plaques will be removed on Thursday from the base of the monument.
Viewing opportunities will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Richmond has removed more than a dozen other pieces of Confederate statuary in the wake of Floyd’s death, erasing history and cementing a political narrative.
The Lee statue was created by the internationally renowned French sculptor Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercie. It is considered a “masterpiece,” according to its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Lee’s statue has been listed there since 2007. The monument arrived in 1890 from France.
The 40-foot granite pedestal will remain in place at least for now. It has already been repeatedly damaged by protesters.
Lee will be remembered in history books that have not been censored. His military genius has been fodder for soldiers and history buffs for many years but that too has changed in a now-woke America.
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