Like A Virus


The Purge Continues

“America as we knew it is pretty much gone.” B. Frank Earnest, a spokesman for the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans

As Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has said the virus is dictating what happens, not the government in this war. So too will a student activist and community organizer determine when they “have fully dismantled the systems that oppress black and brown people.” and there will be “healing or reconciliation.”

Those celebrating Lee’s removal were planning next steps and emphasizing that removing Confederate monuments is a key symbolic victory, not the end goal.Confederate General Robert E. Lee

A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets has no charm for me. If the Union is dissolved and government disrupted, I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people, and save in defense will draw my sword on none. Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Black activists, allies call Lee statue removal a big win

By: By SARAH RANKIN and ALAN SUDERMAN
Updated: June 4, 2020 – 6:31 PM

RICHMOND, Va. — (AP) — Wes Bellamy, a former Charlottesville city councilman, said that when he first started raising the issue of removing Confederate monuments, black and white people alike across Virginia told him he was just causing trouble.

[snip]

statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue

Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The crowd protesting police brutality chanted “Tear it down.”

[Virginia Gov. Ralph] Northam’s decision to remove the bronze equestrian statue, which sits on state property in the middle of Richmond’s renowned Monument Avenue, has been widely praised by black leaders and activists, and their allies, as a key marker — but not the finish line — on the path to equality.

[snip]

Together, the decisions mark a striking departure from recent years, when even after a violent rally of white supremacists descended on Charlottesville in 2017 and other Confederate monuments started falling across the country, Virginia did not make the same changes.

In part, local governments were hamstrung by a state law that protects memorials to war veterans. That law was amended earlier this year by the new Democratic majority at the statehouse and signed by Northam. When the changes go into effect July 1, localities will be able to decide the monuments’ fate.

[snip]

Northam said he recognized the nation’s “tremendous pain” that has been brought into focus by Floyd’s killing.

“In order to heal that divisiveness, the statues need to come down,” said Northam,,,

[snip]

B. Frank Earnest, a spokesman for the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, also acknowledged — and lamented — that times have changed. “America as we knew it is pretty much gone.”

[snip]

Those celebrating Lee’s removal were planning next steps and emphasizing that removing Confederate monuments is a key symbolic victory, not the end goal.

Zyahna Bryant

Zyahna Bryant, a student activist and community organizer who wrote a 2016 petition calling on the Charlottesville City Council to remove a statue of Lee from a downtown park, was among those who joined Northam on Thursday. She thanked the activists whose decades of works she said had led to “where we are today” but said there was far more work to be done.

“I want to be clear that there will be no healing or reconciliation until we have equity, until we have fully dismantled the systems that oppress black and brown people,” Bryant said.

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