McClellan Statement on Lee Monument Ruling

Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released the following statement on a Richmond Circuit Court judge ruling in favor of Gov. Ralph Northam’s order to remove the Lee Monument in Richmond.

“I have passed by the Lee Monument in my neighborhood countless times and winced at the trauma it represents for our community. Today, we are one step closer to lifting this burden off of the shoulders of the Black community in Virginia.

“The Lee Monument was erected in 1890 as part of a backlash to the political, social, and economic progress of the formerly enslaved during Reconstruction as part of the myth of the Lost Cause. At the time, Richmond Planet publisher John Mitchell, Jr., prophetically wrote that the new monument would ‘ultimately result in handing down to a generation unborn a legacy of treason and blood…It serves to reopen the wound of war and cause to drift further apart the two sections.’

“Today, Virginia took another step closer to healing those wounds and removing this monument to division. Thank you to the Richmond community for leading the clarion call for removing this monument, to Gov. Northam for taking action and to Attorney General Herring for defending that action in court.