A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol last night after being there for over 100 years.
“The Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate, as we fight to end the scourge of racism in our country,” Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
“There is no room for celebrating the bigotry of the Confederacy in the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country.”
“We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country,” Virginia Gov. Northam said.
“The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did.”
From The Hill:
Earlier this year, a state commission recommended the removal of the statue from the Capitol.
The commission, led by state Sen. Louise Lucas (D), voted unanimously to remove it.
“Confederate images do not represent who we are in Virginia, that’s why we voted unanimously to remove this statue,” Lucas said in a statement. “I am thrilled that this day has finally arrived, and I thank Governor Northam and the Commission for their transformative work.”
The statue will be transported to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, Northam’s office said.
Northam’s proposed budget for the state includes $500,000 for the erection of the Johns statue, which must be approved by the General Assembly.
In recent years, social justice activists and some politicians have called for the removal of Confederate statues nationwide, saying they glorify racism and intolerance. The deadly 2017 clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., came after a statue of Lee was removed there.
4:02 am. 12/21/20. Crypt of the US Capitol. pic.twitter.com/2ttGecsj5B— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) December 21, 2020