Richmond, Virginia—Grassroots activists who have worked for years to remove the racist monuments to white supremacy from public spaces have something to celebrate today with the announcement that the statue of celebrated racist and traitor to the United States, Robert E. Lee, will finally be removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Additionally, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has announced his intention to seek the removal of the other four Confederate monuments that are also on that site. This is a huge step forward, but removing monuments is just a very visible first step towards equity for all of us. We still have more work to do to ensure that all of us, no matter the color of our skin, have the same opportunities to thrive in our communities.
“Finally removing racist statues from the public square is a major victory for the many grassroots activists who have worked towards this aim for years, and we should celebrate this win,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia said. “But these statues are just one very visible sign that white supremacy is alive and well in our communities. We have a lot more to do to eradicate the less visible but still insidious forms of racism Black people in our community deal with every single day. Until we address affordable housing, the school-to-prison pipeline, real criminal justice reform, economic justice, and countless other issues, we will not be finished with our anti-racist work. We will keep working until we can celebrate many more victories in the future, and every Black person in our community has the same opportunities as everyone else.”
Grassroots activists have worked for years to encourage those with the power to do so, like Governor Ralph Northam, to remove the Confederate monuments.
- Governor Northam announced today his intention to exercise his long standing authority to remove the statue honoring General Robert E. Lee that currently sits on Monument Avenue “as soon as possible”.
- Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also announced that he will introduce an ordinance on July 1 to remove the other 4 confederate statues on that site.