Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants local communities to officially remove any monument with ties to the Confederacy in a stunning reversal from a position he held only two years ago.
“I encourage Virginia’s localities and the General Assembly – which are vested with the legal authority – to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings,” the governor said in an official statement released Wednesday. “I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion, and equality in Virginia.”
But two years ago the Democratic governor believed statues of civil war veterans shouldn’t be removed after Dylann Roof went into an historic black church in South Carolina and began shooting, killing nine. McAuliffe asserted at the time that the confederate flag needed to be taken off of license plates and state property.
“I am sticking just with the license plates because I do think that is a message that is so hurtful, that flag, to folks,” he said on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” in 2015. “But not statues. I mean, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, these are all parts of our heritage. And the people that were in that battle, the Civil War, many of them were in it obviously for their own reasons that they had for that. But leave the statues and those things alone.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is considering officially removing four Confederate statues throughout the city due to their use as a “rallying point” for violence, according to The Washington Post.
“While we had hoped to use this process to educate Virginians about the history behind these monuments, the events of the last week may have fundamentally changed our ability to do so by revealing their power to serve as a rallying point for division and intolerance and violence,” Stoney asserted in an official statement.
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