Confederate General Robert E. A statue of Lee has been removed by the United States Capitol, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Monday.
For 111 years, the statue stood alongside the nation’s first president, George Washington, as the state of Virginia’s contribution to the National Statuary Hall. Each state is allowed two statues in the collection.
In Virginia, there are plans to replace Lee’s statue of civil rights icon Barbara Johns.
“We all should be proud of this important step for our Commonwealth and our country,” Northam said in a statement. “Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and this is the last time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity and inclusiveness. I look forward to representing Virginia’s theater maiden at the Capitol of America, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contribution to America and be empowered to bring positive change to their communities.
“Confederate images do not represent who we are in Virginia. So we voted unanimously to remove this statue, ”said state Sen. Louise Lucas, who chaired the Virginia Commission that recommended the removal. “I am thrilled that this day has finally arrived, and I thank Governor Northam and the Commission for their transformative work.”
In 1951, 16-year-old Barbara Johns led a student strike at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia for equal education. His protest received the support of the NAACP and his case was one of five, which was consolidated into the top board of education for a firm trial. The Supreme Court’s decision in that case declared the separation unconstitutional in 1954.
“When I think of Barbara Johns, I remember how brave he was at such a young age. It is time for us to start singing songs of some virgin people who have done a great job. This is a proud moment for our Commonwealth, and I am humbled to be a part of it, ”said Delegate Jeanian Ward, who sponsored the legislation that created the commission.
Sen. Tim Kaine and Rape. Jennifer Wexton, both Democrats, and a representative of Northam’s office were present when the statue was removed.
In July, the House approved legislation to remove the US Capitol of Confederates statues and other such symbols, but the Senate is yet to take the bill.
On Monday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the decision as “a tribute to hate.”
Robert E. The upcoming replacement, by removing Lee’s statue and a tribute to Barbara Johns, a Virginia civil rights pioneer and proud, is welcome news. Pelosi said in a statement, the halls of Congress are the heart of our democracy, and the statues within the Capitol should be known as our highest ideals. He said, ‘Congress will continue its work to rid the Capitol of tribute to spread hatred, as we are fighting to end the crisis of racism in our country. There is no place to celebrate the bigotry of Confederacy at the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country. “