With all the controversy over Donald Trump‘s epic mishandling of a national tragedy, right up to defending neo-Nazis on live TV, it’s easy to forget how this all started.
Charlottesville had voted to remove their statues of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as people found them to be glorifying the side of the Civil War that fought to keep slavery.
That’s why neo-Nazis, neo-confederates, KKK members, and other white supremacist subgroups banded together and descended on the town in the first place.
Well, an unexpected voice has arisen to condemn the actions of the people protesting the statue’s removal — Robert E. Lee V, the great-great grandson of the Southern soldier. He told CNN on Wednesday:
“Those sorts of acts on Saturday, that’s just not to be tolerated. We feel strongly that Gen. Lee would never ever stand for that sort of violence.”
He also wanted to send a positive message to those hurt in the violence:
“We just want people to know that the Lee family just really wants to send their best to the people in Charlottesville.”
As for the statues?
Lee thinks it’s perfectly understandable to discuss taking them down without any violence:
“Eventually, someone is going to have to make a decision, and if that’s the local lawmaker, so be it. But we have to be able to have that conversation without all of the hatred and the violence. And if they choose to take those statues down, fine.”
“Maybe it’s appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard.”
Seems totally reasonable to us. Not having to walk by tributes to men who fought for slavery every day is an important step in the healing of this country that’s been long overdue.
You know who else thought so? General Lee himself.
After the war, he wrote on the subject of monuments:
“I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavoured to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.”
Something tells us these white supremacists won’t honor the wishes of their “hero” when it doesn’t align with their racist mission.
[Image via Twitter.]