On Wednesday, the largest statue in the country honoring a Confederate soldier was taken down. In Virginia, a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee standing over six stories tall.
The Daily Wire reports:
Governor Ralph Northan (D-VA) called for its removal last year, saying that we could “no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people,” according to Axios.
“Yes, that statue has been there for a long time,” he added. “But it was wrong then, and it is wrong now. So we’re taking it down. I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way. I believe that when we learn more, we can do more. And I believe that when we learn more — when we take that honest look at our past — we must do more than just talk about the future.”
The governor’s move prompted a legal challenge that remained unresolved for more than a year. However, last week, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that the commonwealth could, in fact, remove the statue and that the government was not obligated to keep it up, even if the deed for the monument called for it to be kept up for display in perpetuity.
“Those restrictive covenants are unenforceable as contrary to public policy and for being unreasonable because their effect is to compel … the Commonwealth to express, in perpetuity, a message with which it now disagrees,” the justices wrote in a unanimous ruling, notes The Associated Press.
156 years after the end of the civil war, Virginia has come one step closer to being a more inclusive and welcoming Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/7wvRfM35mx
— Pamela Northam (@FirstLadyVA) September 8, 2021