Today, Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-09) released the following statement regarding the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond:
“This is a historic day, brought about by people from our community who have carried the torch for justice. The removal of this painful monument would not have happened if not for the community leaders who fought long odds to make this historic moment a reality.
I drive past the Lee statue every day on my way to the Capitol. Removing this statue is like lifting a weight off of our shoulders. This statue has represented and triggered 400 years of trauma for the Black community. Now, the statue is gone – but our work remains to address the systemic results of white supremacy. We must not only dismantle the monuments to inequity, we must also dismantle the inequity in our housing system, our economic system, our education system, and our criminal justice system. Today is a step forward in that fight for progress.
When the Lee statue was erected in 1890, legendary Richmond publisher John Mitchell wrote that it would ‘reopen the wounds of war’ and ‘result in handing down to generations unborn a legacy of treason and blood.’ He was right. Today, we have taken a step to close those wounds and bring about healing.”