Considering the level of violence and chaos white supremacists brought to Charlottesville, Va., nearly four years ago, it’s not terribly surprising that the city isn’t exactly gung-ho about preserving its Confederate monuments. The city can now remove two statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson after the Virginia Supreme Court overturned a prior decision forbidding it.
The Associated Press reports that while the City Council voted to remove the statues in 2017, a group of Charlottesville residents sued to prevent that from happening. A Circuit Court judge initially ruled in favor of the residents, citing a law that regulated the “disturbance of or interference with” monuments and memorials dedicated to soldiers.
As previously mentioned, Charlottesville was pretty much the harbinger of what, unfortunately, has become a pretty commonplace occurrence in the wake of the former president’s election: a group of white boys all hopped up on conspiracy theories and false aggrievements acting out in ways that have violent, and in this case, deadly consequences.
The 2017 “Unite the Right” rally saw white supremacists and counter-protesters violently clash. The event came to a horrific head after a man drove his car through a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer in the process.
So the fact that after all that happened, and some Charlottesville residents still were against removing the statues only goes to show just how deeply white supremacy is embedded into this country’s fabric. Truly, it’s the American way.
The statue of Jackson was erected in Jackson Park in 1921, and the statue of Lee was erected in Lee Park in 1924. State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Goodwyn reversed the Circuit Court decision on Thursday, saying that because the statues weren’t protected under the law as they were erected before the law was written.
“In other words, (the law) did not provide the authority for the City to erect the Statues, and it does not prohibit the City from disturbing or interfering with them,” Goodwyn wrote.