12 September 2020

Very Fine People Doing Their Job

I am referring, of course, to the construction workers and engineers who have just removed a Confederate memorial statue from in front of the Albemarle County Courthouse.

They are doing God's work:
Engineers in Charlottesville, Virginia worked to remove a 900lb Confederate statue on Saturday, a moment of symbolic reckoning in the university town that was rocked by a white supremacist march in August 2017.

The statue taken down was not that of Robert E Lee, which extremists said they were defending in clashes which led to the murder of a counter-protester. Instead, Charlottesville removed a bronze figure of a Confederate soldier, known as “At Ready”, that has stood for 111 years outside the Albemarle county courthouse.

Around 100 people cheered from behind barricades as bronze plaques were taken off the sides of the monument and a cannon was removed, the Washington Post reported. Police stood by.


Donald Trump provoked outrage in 2017 when he said there were “very fine people” on both sides of clashes in which Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when an extremist drove his car into a crowd.


Albemarle is the first locality to use a process for removing statues that was approved by the state’s general assembly. But activists have said they are disappointed that “At the Ready” will be re-erected elsewhere.

“We feel like it’s just basically toxic waste disposal in another community,” Jalane Schmidt, an associate professor at the University of Virginia, told the Post.
(emphasis mine)


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