Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Charlottesville - Robert E. Lee Monument & Park Update/Call To Action

In the months since we held a "Save Lee Park" rally in Charlottesville and spoke at the Charlottesville City Council meeting that night, much has transpired .

Sadly, we regret to report that Mr. George "Tex" Wells passed away last week after a courageous battle with cancer.  The last time most of us saw Tex was at the "Save Lee Park" rally in Charlottesville in April. He was ill then and very weak...and should not have been standing out in the sun, but he INSISTED on coming and standing up for Robert E Lee, against what he felt was a huge injustice.

A Vietnam Veteran, Tex  was well known for his portrayal of Gen Robert E Lee, and was a tireless advocate of the general and a fierce defender of our Cause.


The South has lost a true hero, and many of us have lost a dear friend.

Thank you, Tex. The general is safe. We won't let the miscreants get their hands on him or dishonor his sacred memory. Go rest high, Sir!
*Photo courtesy Judy Smith Photography
Since the rally and City Council meeting in April, the Council announced and appointed a "Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces".  This commission was appointed against the wishes of Vice-Mayor Bellamy and Councilman Szacos, who were visibly agitated at the idea of any delay in their plan to tear down the Robert E. Lee monument and rename LEE Park, but considering the severity of the backlash from citizens against the plan, City Council had no choice but to do "something" to satisfy the outcry of the public, and at the same time rein in and appease their rogue members, all at substantial taxpayer expense.


Read the details of the Resolution that created the commission here:  http://www.charlottesville.org/home/showdocument?id=43143


Link to the Commissions page on Charlottesville's website here:  http://www.charlottesville.org/departments-and-services/boards-and-commissions/blue-ribbon-commission-on-race-memorials-and-public-spaces


As one might imagine, the members that were selected by City Council to make up this commission, with one exception, have little or no knowledge of Confederate history and heritage, have a history of anti-Confederate bias, and several have made public comments supporting monument removal.  Read the applications of those selected here to get an idea of how the deck has been stacked:  http://www.vaflaggers.com/brca.pdf

VICE-CHAIR of the Commission, John Mason, as quoted in the Cavalier Daily:

John Mason, associate chair of the History department, said the symbolic nature of the statue and its message to the community are two of the major reasons it should be removed.
"The statue should be removed because it’s a symbol of racism, intolerance and white supremacy,” Mason said. “Robert E. Lee, as we know, commanded the Confederate armies in a war that the essential purpose of which was to preserve slavery and to preserve white supremacy."
Mason said the relationship between the statue — which has an unobstructed view on its four sides and sits in the middle of the park — and the viewer makes the viewer feel “small and insignificant.”
 
“That’s never going away,” Mason said. “So if we want a city that does not celebrate racism, does not celebrate the cause of the Confederacy, then we’re going to have to remove it."

The bias of the "Commission" is clear and intentional.  Even so, after several public hearing where citizens OVERWHELMINGLY voiced opposition to the removal of any monuments or memorials, http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_ef708687-20f7-5f2c-a79c-18b3d2e150d0.html   the commission appears to be getting the message....   http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/city-commission-on-statues-and-monuments-inching-closer-to-recommendation/article_a14a796e-6084-11e6-ae42-07c854ebbb5d.html

 
On August 13, the commission gave a tour of local historical sites and invited the public to attend and comment.  http://www.nbc29.com/story/32753314/blue-ribbon-commission-gives-tour-of-controversial-landmarks  


During  the BRC tour, Mr. Mason speculated that Paul Goodloe McIntire must have bought the statues with money his family made from slave labor. Commissioner Margaret O’Bryant quickly corrected him, noting that Mr. McIntire left Charlottesville with very little and earned his fortune in the North in Chicago and New York.  Mr. Mason’s comment was subjective in nature and intended to create a narrative that fits his prejudiced agenda.


The following day, commission member Gordon Fields resigned. 


CALL TO ACTION
What can you do to help?
 
1)  Attend the next Blue Ribbon Commission Public Meeting TONIGHT, Wednesday, August 24, 6:00 p.m.  City Space, 110 5th St NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902 and make sure your voice, and that of our Confederate ancestors, is heard.
 
2)  Share your thoughts with the commission here: RMSfeedback@charlottesville.org or call, 434-970-3101. The commission has been instructed to report EVERY communication to City Council.  Be polite, but be firm that no monument should be removed and no context needs to be added to any existing memorials.
 
3)  Take a moment to contact Charlottesville City Council, even if you have already done so.  Send a message to ALL City Councilors.  Please be advised that emails sent via this link, or council@charlottesville.org will also be sent to the City Manager, Assistant City Managers and Clerk of Council.  Send a message to INDIVIDUAL City Councilors

 
Finally, we leave you with this update from Alexandria, Virginia.  After months of public hearings where citizens overwhelmingly spoke AGAINST removing any of the city's Confederate history, the commission there has issued a recommendation that the Confederate monument NOT be removed. Although the content of the article leaves quite a bit to be desired as regards truth and fact, we LOVE this headline... 

The South lost the war but keeps winning the battle over Confederate memorials

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-south-lost-the-war-but-keeps-winning-the-battle-over-confederate-memorials/2016/08/23/23012f42-694b-11e6-99bf-f0cf3a6449a6_story.html

13 months after Nikki Haley used a completely unrelated tragedy for political gain by pressuring SC legislators into removing the Confederate flag off of the Memorial in Columbia, and inspiring and emboldening other heritage haters across the country to follow her lead, the tide has turned. Her career is finished and good people are finally standing up and pushing back, and putting an end to this nonsense.
The commission in Alexandria got part of this right...the statue WILL stay, but rest assured there will be no PC "context" added, and Jefferson Davis Highway will remain. If we continue to stand up and speak out,  we will prevail...in Alexandria...and in Charlottesville... and across the South.  Stay tuned for more details and calls to action for Alexandria.

In the meantime, we wish to remind these folks that the removal of and/or attempt to modify existing war memorials is a violation of Virginia State Law, and any attempt to do so will be met with costly civil litigation and criminal prosecution.  In addition, we have scouted several locations in Charlottesville for Memorial Battle flag sites, and have one under construction as of this update.
We have only just begun to fight. To arms, Dixie!



No comments: