A Confederate statue is coming down today in Virginia
It was christened “At Ready,” and the statue’s installation during Jim Crow sent a signal to many that resounded for decades — in a city that renewed its association with deadly racial violence in 2017.
Saturday, the statue is coming down.
Charlottesville City Council Member Kristin Szakos said the statue is a symbol of injustice, affiliate WVIR reported last month when the county commission made its decision.
“Clear to every Black defendant who must pass them on the way into court: this space is reserved for the Confederate cause,” she said. “You will find no justice here.”
Three years ago in the idyllic University of Virginia hometown, a “Unite the Right” rally sparked violence that killed one woman, Heather Heyer, injured dozens of other people and helped to highlight reemerging white supremacy.
It prompted President Donald Trump to say there were ” fine people” on both sides of the conflict, which began with a rally by white nationalists and other right-wing groups.
The city and others began grappling with monuments to racism and slavery. A Virginia judge ruled last year that the statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in Charlottesville are war monuments that the city cannot remove without permission from the state.
Across the country, though, some statues were brought down, and some buildings renamed.
The movement gained momentum amid the nationwide reckoning over racial injustice after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In August, Columbia University said it will remove the name of a slave owner from a dormitory on its Manhattan medical campus, in just one recent example.
Saturday in Charlottesville, Albemarle County is aiming for an educational experience for viewers everywhere.
“Livestream viewers will have a direct sightline of the removal work, with live commentary sharing the history of Court Square, the memorials, and their installation,” the county said in a release. “During more routine work periods, recorded interviews and lectures by local historians, design professionals, elected officials, and community members will be aired in split-screen with the live-feed. … The event will also be recorded for future viewing.
“We hope you will join us — online — to view this important moment for our community.”