BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY: Virginians far and wide stand and protect the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. This a Sept 2017 image on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va.Photo: Steve Helber (AP)
Well, it was a good idea while it lasted.
I’m referring to the removal of public monuments of known racists.
But the law—in that comfortable cradle of great virtue the world knows as Charlottesville, Va.,—has prevailed.
And it’s the celebration of racist business as usual.
On Wednesday, a judge in the fair, ahem, city ruled the controversial statues to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson must stay where they are.
This is a slap in the face to the February 2017 vote by the Charlottesville City Council to remove the statue of Lee, which sparked the shameful “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally that left counter-protestor, Heather Heyer, dead and 28 people injured when a white supremacist plowed into them with his 2010 Dodge Challenger.
According to WTOP, Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore ruled the memorials cannot and will not be touched.
Citing a Virginia law banning the removal or movement of war memorials erected in a locality, reporter Hawes Spencer—who was in the courtroom during Wednesday’s first day of the civil trial—said Moore explained his decision thusly: “He said whatever the original intent of the memorial, and we can’t really get into the heads of those who put these monuments to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson up, today they exist as war memorials, and they are protected under Virginia law.”
Residents sued Charlottesville—each seeking $500 in compensatory damages— saying that the same law violated the U.S. Constitution because the statues send a racist message.
Judge Richard E. Moore is seen handing down orders in in Charlottesville General District Court in Charlottesville, Va. during a recent trialPhoto: Izabel Zermani (AP)
“The judge’s opinion was not about the propriety or the goodness of having the statues in the downtown area,” Spencer said. “The judge’s opinion was simply about the fact that Virginia law makes it illegal to move them or encroach upon them.”
Moore, a former assistant commonwealth attorney, issued a permanent injunction preventing the removal.
Some people always find the right ways to do the wrong things.