One more statue honoring the Confederacy has been removed, and the joy in the streets was palpable as the monument was lifted off its pedestal. With this one down, there are hundreds remaining across the country.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in fact, there were nearly 800 monuments to the Confederacy in 2019 — and over 2,000 total symbols or memorials honoring the same.
In the clip below, hear people cheer and shout in the streets of Richmond, Virginia, as you witness one more come down.
There goes Robert E. Lee! Workers just hoisted the 12-ton statue of the Confederate traitor off its pedestal, where it has sat in Richmond, VA, since 1890.
Fired-up crowd sings “hey hey hey goodbye” and chants “Whose streets? Our streets!” pic.twitter.com/CvpsFzmlLz
— The Recount (@therecount) September 8, 2021
Thanks in large part to the movement for justice after the murder of George Floyd, NPR reports that a record 168 total symbols, 94 of them monuments, were removed in 2020 — but this still leaves around 700 remaining, some with inscriptions that are especially egregious.
States and local governments have also been mobilizing to protect these statues, though. In fact, the Fayetteville Observer notes that it was only a month after Dylann Roof carried out the mass murder, in South Carolina, of a church full of Black worshippers who had welcomed him into their sanctuary, that North Carolina, among other states, responded by passing a law protecting Confederate monuments.
The SPLC report linked above counts almost 300 of the 780 statues still standing in 2019 as being located in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.
Still, statues and other Confederate symbols have been coming down, even in states that set up these protections for them.
This statue of Lee, according to the Associated Press, will be removed to an undisclosed location for now, and Governor Ralph Northam will seek public comment to determine its eventual fate.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com