The National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol building is now ruined. During the night, the state of Virginia removed its statue of Robert E. Lee. The Statuary Hall contains 100 statues (now 99) representing two noteworthy historical figures from each state, which are chosen by representatives from the respective states. Until recently, Virginia was represented by Lee and George Washington. The state is planning to spend $50,000 in taxpayer money to replace Lee with civil rights activist Barbara Johns.
In my opinion, this is an absolutely disgraceful move. Johns, who led a student walkout to protest conditions at her all-black school in 1951, is not an adequate or deserving replacement for Lee, who led the armed forces of the Confederate States of America in a valiant effort to establish an independent country. Johns was described as “brave, courageous, and fearless” by her sister, Joan Johns Cobbs. A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial called her “a symbol of youthful courage, conviction and action” who “represents the promise of tomorrow.” And a Washington Post editorial stated that “she and Washington make a fine and fitting pair to represent Virginia.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Johns was nowhere near as brave, courageous, fearless, or honorable as Lee was. She is completely unworthy of standing alongside George Washington in the Statuary Hall. With Lee gone, the U.S. Capitol becomes yet another item to be crossed off my list of places that I dreamed of visiting one day.
“We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did.”
“The Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate, as we fight to end the scourge of racism in our country,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “There is no room for celebrating the bigotry of the Confederacy in the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country.” She also called the repugnant act “welcome news.”
And State Senator Louise Lucas, who led the commission that recommended removing the Lee statue, said: “Confederate images do not represent who we are in Virginia, that’s why we voted unanimously to remove this statue. I am thrilled that this day has finally arrived, and I thank Governor Northam and the Commission for their transformative work.”
Let’s go over these false, mean-spirited, and irrational comments:
To say that the removal of Lee is welcome news and something that people should be proud of is so far from the truth that it defies comprehension. The idea that anyone could be proud, thrilled, or even remotely happy about this development is sickening. With Lee included in its collection, the National Statuary Hall was a place where diverse historical figures and diverse viewpoints were celebrated and honored. Now it has become a shrine to mindless conformity. Lucas is correct in calling this “transformative work,” but it is an understatement to say that this is a negative, not a positive, transformation. If Confederate images do not represent who the people of Virginia are, then that reflects badly on the people of Virginia, not on the Confederate images. And I suppose this is a step forward, as Northam called it, if one’s goal is to create a society in which all individuality, uniqueness, and independent thought are stomped out, but why anyone would have this as their goal is incomprehensible.
Contrary to Northam’s and Pelosi’s claims, the Confederacy and its statues are not symbols of racism or “homages to hate,” nor is there any “bigotry of the Confederacy.” Ironically, the only bigotry here is that demonstrated by Pelosi, Northam, Lucas, and other devotees of the political correctness movement that seeks to eradicate from the earth all traces of those who fail to conform to their ideology. The supreme irony in this situation is that Virginia had been telling its story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion all along… by honoring Lee and other Confederate leaders. If Northam truly cared about diversity and inclusion, he would have left Lee in place in the U.S. Capitol and preserved and protected all of his state’s magnificent Confederate monuments instead of brutally tearing them down and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to replace them with new statues of conformist, politically correct figures.
A country in which there is no room for celebrating the Confederacy in any place of honor is not a country in which I want to live. Political leaders have made it clear that there is no place for someone like me in this country. I am devastated, I am enraged, and I am shattered. I hate the United States of America with all my heart. The fact that people would deliberately do such a heinous act and then issue statements gloating about how happy it makes them is beyond despicable, beyond reprehensible, and beyond disgusting. Northam, Pelosi, Lucas, and any person who believes that this development is in any way positive deserve to burn in Hell for all eternity.