Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,
We are native Richmonders and also the great, great grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.
In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses.
Last weekend, Charlottesville showed us unequivocally that Confederate statues offer pre-existing iconography for racists. The people who descended on Charlottesville last weekend were there to make a naked show of force for white supremacy. To them, the Robert E. Lee statue is a clear symbol of their hateful ideology. The Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are, too—especially Jackson, who faces north, supposedly as if to continue the fight.
We are writing to say that we understand justice very differently from our grandfather’s grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us.
Through our upbringing and education, we have learned much about Stonewall Jackson. We have learned about his reluctance to fight and his teaching of Sunday School to enslaved peoples in Lexington, Virginia, a potentially criminal activity at the time. We have learned how thoughtful and loving he was toward his family. But we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.
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3 days ago
First of all: Jackson ordered millions of Native Americans to move (#trailoftears) just so he could take their land. Second: HE IS NOT TAKING THE STATUES DOWN. HE WANTS THE NAMES CHANGED. AND IF THE STATUES DID COME DOWN- THEY'LL BE GOIJG INTO MUSEUMS SO SHUT UP ACTING LIKE THEY'RE BEING DESTROYED. -
"When my children and grandchildren walk through these parks and say, 'Grandfather, wasn't he a slave owner?' how do I explain that and how do I reconcile that with their views of what heroes are?" Bishop James Dukes told WGN. "I'm not trying to eradicate history," said Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center. "Let's put history where it belongs so it can be explained and taught properly." Both parks are located on Chicago’s South Side. A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback stands in Washington Park.
Dukes suggested to WBBN that it be renamed after former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and Jackson Park could be named after civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson or the singer Michael Jackson.
Mayor Emanuel has not commented on Dukes' request but Dukes said he'll be soon meeting with a city official to discuss the process of changing the names.
The pastor’s request coincides with a major drive across the US to remove Confederate monuments from public places.
At Trump Tower Tuesday, during a heated exchange with reporters, President Donald Trump appeared to defend the statues. “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?” argued Trump. “You know you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
#BarackObama#trumpsamerikkka # #MAGA#ivankatrump#womensmarch#KKK#Nazis#feminism#blacklivesmatter#hillaryclinton#confederateflag