Robert E. Lee Statue Will Officially Be Removed

Written by: Nathaniel Mannor

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” Winston Churchill cried in a 1948 speech to the House of Commons borrowed from the philosopher George Santayana. While referring to the Nazi atrocities of World War 2, his words ring true today louder than ever. We’ve seen far-right groups across Europe willingly forget the events and tactics that led to the Holocaust, as well as those on the far left that turned their heads when Stalin and Mao subjugated the East under communism. But never in American history was there a movement to deny our past until now.

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, will be torn down Wednesday after a series of legal battles. The statue has stood in a traffic circle in Richmond for over 130 years, first erected in 1890, weighing 20 tons and standing at 61 ft. (from the statue to the pedestal, it rests atop). Confederate statues have always been a contentious issue but gained steam with the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and the George Floyd controversy, leading to the fall of this particular Lee statue.

The Virginia Supreme Court voted unanimously to tear down the statue after initially blocking Governor Ralph Northam’s attempt to dismantle the monument. The court found that the deed protecting the figure was not the property of William Gregory, a descendant of the donor family. Therefore, the court seized control of the land, deemed “perpetually sacred,” and plans to knock it down. The plan is to store the Lee monument away until a further decision is made.

Governor Northam praised the verdict, saying that the decision reflects the progress of America and shows who we are. But to borrow a woke slogan, this is not who we are. America has a racist past that treated black Americans as commodities. Still, the story of America is one of living up to our promises in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” And we cannot tell the tale of America without mentioning the uglier times; otherwise, American exceptionalism is obsolete. Part of this is recognizing the importance of Confederate statues as vital to American history. If we forget slavery, we’ll end up creating another version sooner or later.

There is another, more sinister motive at play. Four years ago, John Oliver broadcasted an episode of his show Last Week Tonight where he claimed that getting rid of Confederate statues would not lead to removing monuments to the founding fathers. But like everything, the woke says it’s one lie after another as leftists move to cancel George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and even Dianne Feinstein!

Removing the Robert E. Lee statue is a tragedy, not to glorify the man, but so our children will have the privilege of learning up-close about the evils of the Confederacy.


Photo from: Daniel Sangjib Min/RTD