On Saturday, two historic statues depicting the Confederate figures Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were officially removed after final approval from local officials, as reported by Breitbart.
Far-left protesters gathered on Saturday to cheer and mock the statues as they were lifted off their pedestals by cranes and placed on trucks to be taken away, after having stood for nearly a hundred years. On the same day, another historic statue depicting the famous Western pioneers Lewis and Clark, as well as their Indian guide Sacagawea, were also removed. All three statues had faced years of baseless accusations of being racist.
The statue of Lee in particular became a flashpoint for the Left’s ongoing efforts to erase or rewrite American history. In August of 2017, a group of right-wing protesters descended on Charlottesville to advocate for preserving the statues. Although there were a small handful of radicals seen displaying neo-Nazi imagery, the vast majority of protesters were peaceful until they were attacked by Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other far-left groups. In the chaos, a car eventually crashed into a crowd of clashing protesters, and one left-wing protester died of a heart attack.
Efforts to remove the statues first began in 2016 after being started by radical activists in the Charlottesville area. There were immediately legal challenges to the attempts to remove the monuments, with several lawsuits pointing to their historic nature as war memorials. Democrats in the Virginia state legislature eventually changed one such law that ultimately gave local authorities the right to decide whether or not to remove such monuments, paving the way for the fall of all three statues on Saturday.
Although many of the protesters gathered on Saturday spent the day congratulating themselves and claiming that the removal of the statues was a step in the right direction, one of the lawyers who tried to protect the statues disagreed. Charles “Buddy” Weber, who was a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against the city of Charlottesville, said that his “personal view is that this act is not going to improve the life of anybody in the city of Charlottesville.”
Efforts to tear down Confederate monuments, which first started in 2017 after the Charlottesville clash, escalated further last summer after the accidental fentanyl overdose death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The race riots of 2020 saw not only Confederate statues fall, but also many statues of the Founding Fathers, as well as the vandalism of war memorials and the burning of churches.