The Monument Fund

Preserving and Defending our Historic Monuments and Memorials

The Threat

Charlottesville's City Council has voted to remove  both statues, and failing that, permanently to disfigure and obscure them.

In the past few years a small but vocal minority in Charlottesville began to complain our local monuments celebrate oppression of Native Americans or African Americans.  The two Civil War generals came under the most persistent attacks.    

Calling the monuments intimidating symbols of white supremacy, early in 2016 two City Councillors sought approval for their removal.  Later in 2016 a Blue Ribbon Commission hand picked by the removal advocates surprised its creators by voting to keep both monuments in their parks. 

Then, under outside pressure the Commission relented and voted a second time, now to send City Council the option to move Lee to a nearby park but leave Jackson alone.  They voted also to recommend the alternative of keeping both monuments where they are.  Whatever happened, the Commission recommended both monuments stay in the city.  But City Council ignored them.

City Council in January 2017 first deadlocked  2-2 with one councillor abstaining.  But then in February again under outside pressure, that councillor changed his vote, so it was 3-2 in favor of removing Lee and obscuring Jackson.

City Council refused the City Attorney's offer to ask Virginia’s Attorney General whether removing Lee was illegal. That would take too long, and they were not interested in contrary legal advice. They chose to act without it. 

Then in April Council voted to get rid of Lee by putting him  up for sale.  They had not decided how to obscure or revile or desecrate Jackson, and tasked city staff with soliciting ideas through a Request for Proposals. 

In September 2017 after street clashes between right and left wing demonstrators (the latter encouraged to take to the streets, by City Council) the City voted on a resolution to remove Jackson as well as Lee.  The Mayor, who had previously supported keeping both monuments, reversed himself in August when the political winds shifted. 

Since a Court had already determined removal violated Virginia law,  City Council voted in the interim to  drape giant black trash-bag like tarps over both monuments. 

The pretext was mourning for one of the demonstrators they'd encouraged to confront the right wing demonstrators, killed when a car plowed into a crowd. In fact, comments by individual councillors  indicated the purpose of the giant trash bags was to conceal the monuments, permanently.   

 

The Monument Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) and contributions are tax deductible