J.D.R. Hawkins

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Archive for the tag “statues”

Lawsuit in the Works

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Recently, I reported how the city of Charlottesville plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee park. They also want to rename the park. But now, several citizens have filed a lawsuit claiming the city is acting unlawfully.

FIGHTING BACK IN VIRGINIA

Dixie Heritage Readers in Virginia are fighting the City of Charlottesville over City Council’s decision to move a monument to Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee.

Councilors voted 3-2 on February 6 to move the statue of Lee out of Lee Park. They also unanimously voted to rename the park.

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Descendants of its donor, Paul Goodloe McIntire, and sculptor are a part of this lawsuit against Charlottesville and City Council. Joining them in their lawsuit are The Monument Fund, Inc. and The Virginia Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. and eleven individuals: Frederick W. Payne, John Bosley Yellott Jr., Edward D. Tayloe II, Betty Jane Franklin Phillips, Edward Bergen Fry, Virginia C. Amiss, Stefanie Marshall, Charles L. Weber Jr., Lloyd Thomas Smith Jr., Anthony M. Griffin, and Britton Franklin Earnest Sr. Their attorneys filed their lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court Monday, March 20.

The plaintiffs’ suit alleges Councilors acted beyond their authority and violated a State Law which prohibits removing monuments or memorials to war veterans:

That the Lee statue and the Jackson statue are Confederate monuments and memorials of the War Between the States protected by the provisions of Section 15.2-1812 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.
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The lawsuit also argues Charlottesville is violating terms of McIntire’s gift in 1918 of the land for Lee Park and the statue:

    “Defendants [Charlottesville City Council] are required by law to protect and to preserve the aforesaid historic monuments.”

Weber, one of the plaintiffs and an attorney, says he joined the suit in order to protect history and the law. “I believe that our history is what it is. We don’t change it. We have to deal with it, and we have to come together to deal with it,” he said.

Don Gathers, who chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Monuments and Public Spaces, said that he expected their decision would face a legal challenge and the City is prepared to fight for the monument’s removal.
(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, March 24, 2017 ed.)
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This is NOT Conserving History!

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Recently, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces recommended that statues in the city of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson remain in place. Sounds like a victory, right? WRONG! The Commission’s suggestion is conditional in that they also recommended the city council rename and redesign the public parks where these two statues stand in order to “transform” the statues’ meaning, and made other suggestions to help tell “the full story of Charlottesville’s history of race.”

What!? How atrocious is this? Now they want to rewrite history to fit into their distorted politically correct agenda. When will it ever end?

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Here are more recommendations given by the BR Commission:
  • Replace the existing Court Square Slave Auction Block marker and commission a new memorial on or near Court Square in downtown Charlottesville.
  • Support conservation of the Daughters of Zion Cemetery and the Bridge Builders Committee’s work to improve the visibility and appearance of the Drewary J. Brown Memorial Bridge.
  • Provide financial assistance for the proposed Vinegar Hill Park and Vinegar Hill Monument, as well as funding for historic resource surveys of African-American, Native American and local neighborhoods and sites.
  • Sponsor local history research by local institutions, such as the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society.
  • Find opportunities to name new roads, bridges and other locations after ideas and people who represent the city but reject building new monuments to individuals.
  • Designate March 3 as “Liberation Day” or “Freedom Day” to commemorate when the Union Army marched into Charlottesville in 1865. (This one really bothers me.)
  • Urge the city to participate in the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial to Peace and Justice by displaying a memorial marking the lynching of John Henry James to “confront the truth and terror of white supremacy in the Jim Crow era.
  • Encourage and support the teaching the history of slavery and impact of racism in African-American and Native American history classes for local public schools.

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A small group has already protested the Commission’s recommendation to keep the statues in the parks. One of the leaders in the movement to removed the statues is University of Virginia professor Jalane Schmidt, who wants the statues to be replaced with statues of slaves.
“The Confederate statues need to be moved so that history can be publicly retold and physically represented so that we can change our history’s narrative around race,” Schmidt said.
Hopefully, she won’t get her way. What a tragedy it would be if she did!
This controversy has been going on for a while. Check out:

The Destruction of History

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It has been brought to my attention that a group in Montgomery, Alabama, calling itself the Southern Poverty Law Center, is in the process of mapping out all Confederate monuments and statues in the United States. Their intention, I’ve been told, is to eradicate these markers and monuments, and thus do away with any reminders of the Confederacy. The S.P.L.C. is not a government agency, and therefore, does not have any legal right to do what they are doing.

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I find it alarming that such behavior is being allowed. Talk about discrimination! If they were targeting any other group in America, I’m sure everyone would be up in arms. But since they are attacking Confederate monuments, suddenly everyone thinks that those monuments and statues are “racist.” This is purely ignorant, to say the least. Confederate veterans were declared American war veterans, and a law was passed to establish this in 1958. Desecrating their graves and markers is a federal offense, and should be dealt with accordingly.

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Hate groups such as the S.P.L.C. and the N.A.A.C.P. are trying to take away Southern heritage, and to me, that’s just plain wrong. They claim that the Confederate battle flag is racist, but that is merely an excuse to accomplish their hidden agenda, which is to take away heritage reminders. By doing this, history can be erased and new symbolism can be put in its place. There has been more racial unrest in the past year and a half than there has been in fifty years since the 1960’s. It’s shameful that our illustrious president has nothing to say on the matter. It’s almost as if he wants to stir up social unrest by remaining silent. The groups that are crying racism need to take a serious look in the mirror. They are the biggest bigots.

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The South has every right to retain its own rich, unique, and diverse history. Our politicians need to stop backing down and start standing up for these rights. One person eloquently referred to it this way, and I agree. What’s taking place in America is a modern day witch hunt.

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