Virginia Governor Changes Stance: Confederate Monuments "A Barrier To Progress"

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has added his name to a growing list of public officials in state governments encouraging the removal of Confederate statues and memorials throughout the South. Late in the day on Wednesday McAuliffe released an official statement saying monuments of Confederate leaders have now become "flashpoints for hatred, division and violence" in a reference to the weekend of violence which shook Charlottesville as white nationalists rallied against the city's planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. McAuliffe further described the monuments as "a barrier to progress" and appealed to state and local governments to take action. The governor said:

As we attempt to heal and learn from the tragic events in Charlottesville, 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. I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make, I believe the path forward is clear.

The statement represents something of a flip flop on the issue for McAuliffe, who has long been on record as generally reluctant to remove Confederate monuments while the issue was being debated in various cities over the past months - he has previously carefully avoided sanctioning any blanket state-wide policy, instead considering it an issue to be decided at the local community level.


A vandalized Confederate grave memorial in Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, NC in 2015. Image Source: ABC 11 WTVD News.

In 2016 McAuliffe sponsored the creation of a "working group" to explore the delicate cultural and legal issues surrounding monument removal. His previous hesitancy to weigh in firmly on one side or the other was likely due to the issue being a definitive hot button topic in recent Virginia gubernatorial elections. Virginia has over the past years been galvanized into two large warring political camps over monument removal - a fight often involving highly charged town hall debates and threats of lawsuits, where the slightest statement of a candidate aspiring for office can cost significant votes. A March 2016 veto by the governor, reflecting his hesitancy to enact a state-wide law read as follows:

There is a legitimate discussion going on in localities across the Commonwealth regarding whether to retain, remove, or alter certain symbols of the Confederacy. These discussions are often difficult and complicated. 

But it appears that the racially motivated carnage in Charlottesville has, in the governor's mind, now ended that discussion. McAuliffe's change of heart follows news of Tuesday's night's statement by North Carolina governor Roy Cooper, who made a strong and impassioned plea for Confederate monument removal throughout his state with words like, "Unlike an African-American father, I’ll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains."

Virginia's Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also issued a statement calling for the moving of all Confederate monuments into museums and out of public eye, reaffirming his position. Overnight on Tuesday, the city of Baltimore quietly removed all four of its Confederate statues upon the mayor's orders who announced early Wednesday morning, "It's done, they needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

It seems the push for monument removal is now picking up steam, with cities like Baltimore simply deciding to act briskly while claiming anti-racism and concern for public safety. Of course, the irony in all this is that the White nationalist and supremacist groups which showed up in force at Charlottesville and which are even now planning a major protest in Lexington, Kentucky, are actually themselves likely hastening the removal of these monuments through their repugnant racial ideology, symbols, and flags. 

As highlighted previously, we are facing a false dialectic which will end in the eradication and purging of American history - a dialectical narrative which the media is all too happy to exploit, though it remains true that:

It is unlikely that the majority of Americans will readily identify with the representative camps on either side. White nationalists and neo-Nazis on the one hand, and counter-protesters declaring "socialist revolution in the United States" and "war" on all historical monuments deemed tainted by a racist past on the other, are unlikely to attract most ordinary Americans increasingly sickened by the entire escalating spectacle.

Missing here is any reasoned national debate or discussion which once defined even Virginia governor McAuliffe's prior position - he and others will now attempt to seize the political moment.

Comments

yogibear HenryKissinger… (not verified) Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:38 Permalink

Next they'll tear down the country's founder's statues because they were slave owners.

Rip up the constitution because it was signed by slave owners.

See where this is going?

In total, twelve presidents owned slaves at some point in their lives, eight of whom owned slaves while serving as president. George Washington was the first president to own slaves, including while he was president.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_w…

In reply to by HenryKissinger… (not verified)

VD (not verified) HenryKissinger… (not verified) Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:44 Permalink

slavery exists today in the form of debt-slavery and it doesn't so much discriminate along racial lines - all you need is a social security number. instead of taking down statues maybe these idiots from both sides could take down the current opressors - but that would take just a little brains and some knowledge..

In reply to by HenryKissinger… (not verified)

Justin Case thesonandheir Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:06 Permalink

You might as well bin the constitution.Done long time ago.February 21, 1871 and the Forty-First Congress is in session. I refer you to the "Acts of the Forty-First Congress," Section 34, Session III, chapters 61 and 62. On this date in the history of our nation, Congress passed an Act titled: "An Act To Provide A Government for the District of Columbia." This is also known as the "Act of 1871." What does this mean? Well, it means that Congress, under no constitutional authority to do so, created a separate form of government for the District of Columbia, which is a ten mile square parcel of land. In essence, this Act formed the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. Note the capitalization, because it is important. This corporation, owned by foreign interests, moved right in and shoved the original "organic" version of the Constitution into a dusty corner. With the "Act of 1871," our Constitution was defaced in the sense that the title was block-capitalized and the word "for" was changed to the word "of" in the title. The original Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers, was written in this manner:"The Constitution for the united states of America".The altered version reads: "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". It is the corporate constitution. It is NOT the same document you might think it is. The corporate constitution operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it is the same parchment that governs the Republic. It absolutely is not.Capitalization — an insignificant change? Not when one is referring to the context of a legal document, it isn't. Such minor alterations have had major impacts on each subsequent generation born in this country. What the Congress did with the passage of the Act of 1871 was create an entirely new document, a constitution for the government of the District of Columbia. The kind of government THEY created was a corporation. The new, altered Constitution serves as the constitution of the corporation, and not that of America. Think about that for a moment.

In reply to by thesonandheir

Radioactive Ideas thesonandheir Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:09 Permalink

The Confederate Flag WAS a symbol of pride in history and ancestors. It WAS something that southerners held onto like catillions. saying ma'am and sir and table manners. The statues WERE also a reminder of men who lead and stood up for their beliefs. If you studied history, particularly the Civil War, beyond the 2 paragraphs offered in middle school text books then you know that the Civil War was fought more for economic reasons and that slavery was only a tangential piece of those economics. Somewhere along the line the Confederate Flag was co-opted by other groups. If you grew up in the north during the 70s and 80s the Nazi flag become superimposed over the Confederate Flag in a very crafty process of propaganda. In the end, these poor idiots who want to erase the history that they have little to no understanding of are only pawns, but when the Governor of VA rolls over like a dead walrus it shows the hand that is being played. The left, who by the way were the ones that fought on the side of PRO-SLAVERY during the Civil War, will continue to instigate and I hope that in the next election the good people of VA remember how big a pussy their Governor showed himself to be.

In reply to by thesonandheir

historian40 Radioactive Ideas Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:39 Permalink

"The left, who by the way were the ones that fought on the side of PRO-SLAVERY during the Civil War..."This is a fallacy.  You're basing it entirely on the Democrat label while ignoring the substance.Those words have changed meaning over time, confusion is the primary purpose of doing so.The people responsible for the rabid behavior, marching like armed gangs, trying to light the fires of revolution, tearing down statues, etc, are more akin to the northerners who were foaming at the mouth in self-righteous ignorance because they read Uncle Tom's Cabin and thought it was fact rather than fiction from a person who had never even been to the South.  These same people cheered John Brown the terrorist, and dehumanized southerners into demons and beasts, and they ended up killing them.The wicked have been stirring up a mob with lies and then pushing to crucify and kill for thousands of years.

In reply to by Radioactive Ideas

Bavarian thesonandheir Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:16 Permalink

Trust me, this is part of the agenda.  The left so badly wants that constitution rendered illegitmate along with the duly elected president. Now that the Russian meme has died and they got their sanctions placed on Russia/Europe business, they can move forward with their grass-roots agenda - faux racism.  It's always worked for them in the past however a more mindful public and fiesty president deter this more than ever. If there's a shred of good news it's that the race card is the left's last resort.  I think the bag of tricks runs dry after this skirmish and the imprisonments will start happening.  It takes time but these criminals no longer have free reign.  And they won't get to the constitution.  The people won't allow it.  The people that own gun and ammo, that is.

In reply to by thesonandheir

Everybodys All… TahoeBilly2012 Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:18 Permalink

The left is clearly trying to start a larger battle to make the conservative Trump supporters on the right seen crazy. Creating a need for martial law is their goal. You see the Russian narrative is a complete joke as the DNC hack will be shown to have been a leak. Let's watch that play out as it will destroy the democrat party.The left can't wait and need to find a way to impeach Trump or remove him on some other made up excuse. Don't fall for their school play now. This is Alinsky Rules for radicals. This is how they intend to put back into power one of their globalists. These statues can all be put back up once the democrat left marxist are removed from power and sent to prison. Use the court systems against these leftists and yes stage peaceful Ghandi like protests where you may get beat up but do not respond to their violence in kind. Thats how we win the information war.

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

Cloud9.5 TahoeBilly2012 Thu, 08/17/2017 - 08:44 Permalink

There are southerners alive today both black and white who had grandfathers who fought in the Civil War on the side of the south.  The successful effort by black racists and Cultural Marxists to reduce the civil war to a binary conflict between proslavery and antislavery forces has successfully ended the discussion of the larger issues that brought that war about. There is no mention of the powerful rail road interests who wanted to destroy state’s rights in their quest to build an interstate railroad system.  These railroad moguls understood full well it would be much easier to bribe one corrupt congress than to purchase the loyalties of a dozen state legislatures. Lincoln was a long and ardent supporter of railroad interests.  There is no discussion of the fact that Lincoln was elected without the benefit of a single southern vote.  There is no mention of the egregious tariffs that doubled the cost of living in the south set up to exclusively benefit northern manufacturing.  There is no comment on the plots put in play by northern abolitionists to have blacks murder whites in their beds.  These abolitionists pushed for a race war against all Sothern whites when only one in four white families owned slaves, putting an innocent seventy five percent of the population at risk. These northern ideologues completely overlooked the black and Cherokee ownership of slaves.  They only pushed for the slaughter of southern whites. These issues have been silenced by historical revisionists and are no longer part of the national discussion.We southerners have a different ethnic memory of that war than the ones held by our northern and western counter parts. For them, the war has morphed into a grand crusade for the freedom of blacks.  For the imperialists, the civil war was just one war in a long list of wars designed to increase the power and scope of the empire.  For us it was a war of defeat, occupation, destruction of culture and loss of civil rights.  Yes there were a thousand battles in a thousand places, some of them fought as far away as Arizona, but most of them were fought in southern states.  Most of the slaughter took place in southern towns and in southern corn fields.  As the armies raged, the local countryside was pillaged by bands of foragers on both sides. The greatest of these pillaging forcers wore blue uniforms.  They walked into people’s homes and seized the family silver ware, emptied their pantries, slaughtered and cooked their livestock and as a parting shot, sometimes they burned down their barns and homes.Cultural Marxists look at a lone statue of a confederate soldier and they see a slave holder.  They are oblivious to the fact that rich slave holders were exempted from service. For each twenty slaves owned, a slave holder received an exemption from service. A Tara type plantation with a hundred slaves would receive five exemptions from service. The plantation owner and his sons did not have to fight. The typical confederate soldier was a yeoman farmer not a slave holder.  As always, it was a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.  That fact is obscured by the current crop of racists and Marxists we now face.The sound of cannon has long since faded from memory for most Americans, but let me ask you this:  If the town north of you had just been sacked and looted by an army of marauders, would you stand in the defense of your home town?  If you would, then you hold common ground with most southern soldiers who fought in the war.  These monuments for the most part, are monuments to men who stood in defense of their homes.When you tear them down, you dishonor honorable men.  In the process, you dishonor yourselves.  

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

iamerican4 (not verified) Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

FBI McCabe-briber McAuliffe is a member of the Irish Mob branch of the satanic ruling false-elite all know used the Vatican's Fifth Column CIA/FBI/NSA action branch to murder JFK and MLK to send us to die as papal catspaw in Vietnam, and to restore Rome's unconstitutional FedScam now bankrupting Our Holy Nation.He is no American.He works for the same satanic psychopathy which ran "the Wall Street of slavery" at Rome for over 2,000 years after crucifying Christ Immanuel and "tens of thousands" of other Christs for twice denying Caesar was God Almighty.Americans submit to only Truth and Justice.McAuliffe seeks to enslave us to his lord, Satan. 

Buck Johnson Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

There needs no debate, they shouldn't have been there in the first place.  Do we allow monuments to Hitler on US soil or does Germany do also?  Why have monuments to a section of the country that tried to wage war against the other half and essentially was traitors to the union?  They shouldn't have been up in the first place and it's about time for them to come down.   

ShrNfr Buck Johnson Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:35 Permalink

Along with all monuments to all Democrats. The Democrats supported slavery in the 1860s. Sen. Robert Byrd was a card carrying KKK member who opposed all blacks everywhere and said he would never fight along side a black man in defense of his country. It is time to purge the country of the racist symbgolism of the Democratic party in all its forms.

In reply to by Buck Johnson

Memedada ShrNfr Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:58 Permalink

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Very true. USA’s history is a history of tyranny, war, propaganda, hypocrisy and injustice (and both parties have been part of the problem from the start - they've been minions of the ownership class from the outset). USA is one big “rich man’s trick”. Tabula rasa is the way forward – bring it all down”

In reply to by ShrNfr

HenryKissinger… (not verified) Buck Johnson Thu, 08/17/2017 - 07:41 Permalink

Do we allow monuments to Hitler on US soil or does Germany do also?nice fallacy : Reductio ad Hitlerumshould germans destroy their (no speed limit) AUTOBAHNs then?what about those US nazi hippies driving VW beetles?and those nazi budhas in india with those nazi cross?and those european paintings showing romans saluting in that characteristic nazi way? BURN THEM!and the NAZI education system?

In reply to by Buck Johnson