Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Charlottesville Update

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 27, 2018

Workers replace the black tarp with which the City of Charlottesville covered the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after John Miska (not shown) attempted to remove the covering in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide

A state district court in Charlottesville, Virginia has ruled that statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in city parks qualify as war memorials under state law, and are therefore protected under a Virginia statute passed in 1998. The judge also ruled that the city, that sought to remove the monuments, can go ahead with renaming the parks where they sit.

If I understand the ruling correctly, this runs counter to a ruling in a similar case on Danville, where the district court held that the 1998 statue only applied to monuments or memorials erected after that date. (Wut?) That ruling was allowed to stand by the Virginia Supreme Court, that declined twice to hear the case.Seems likely that the court will have to get involved now, with conflicting rulings at the district level.

The court also ordered black plastic tarps removed from both statues that the city had put in place months ago, ostensibly “in mourning” for the violence at the white supremacist rally there last August. (Wut?)

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9 Responses

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  1. jcburden said, on February 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    The Virginia statute in question has been interpreted, based on its specific language, to apply only to monuments erected after its effective date in 1998. Not sure that’s what rgI drafters intended…

    • Andy Hall said, on February 27, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      That’s with the district court held in the Danville case. That’s always seemed a very dubious interpretation of the law to me.

      In any event, I expect that the city will appeal, and we’ off to the races.

    • Elbert said, on March 1, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Well, at the time the City of Charlottesville authorized the construction of a statue of Lee as a memorial to the parents of the donor, the law said that the only memorial that would be protected was a war memorial whose erection was authorized by a county. That part of the law wasn’t changed until 1998, and it was not made to apply to prior authorizations by cities. And 1998 is when the idea was first introduced that simply moving a monument counts as “damaging” it.

  2. Msb said, on February 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Sorry to hear that Charlottesville doesn’t get to decide what their community will look like. Not to mention having Lee preside over Emancipation Park.
    As to the statutes being war memorials, reminds me of a joke by Martin Luther: 18 of the 12 apostles are buried in Spain.

  3. confederatesmademedoit said, on March 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Nationwide polls show that the majority of Americans and even African-Americans believe the statues should stay obviously some of them have to be looked at in terms of the context of when the statue was put up so on. The statues are of two military officers in a war that was fought in America that someone thinks that does not or cannot be construed as a war Memorial is rather absurd. Philosophical and sociological discipline of semiotics of course is plenty of examples of an object that will be perceived in more than one way by individual people.

    I think it’s a fair argument that if you start removing monuments because of issues that happened on hundred and 50 years ago or 200 years ago you open the door to a and annihilation of most historical art and statues a community at a present time and communities at the cities religions and sensitivities can change radically over the years, besides to remove statues such as these they have an obligation to find a place where these can be viewed by the public elsewhere. Perhaps that would be the contexts of a national monument

    Mr. Hall feels that for instance in the case of the Durham statue that those that feel that there might be collusion with the city to have the statue destroyed, and then not charge anyone as being the ramblings of the Confederate fetishist. However, if I wanted to create a conspiracy theory I don’t think I could ask for a better scenario. You have a small mob tear down a statue in front of numerous police make no effort to stop it and the demo is thoroughly photographed. Then when the trial comes up they cannot find sufficient evidence to charge any of these people who were well photographed
    . Now I never assign to malice what can easily be assigned to incompetence. Let’s face it the Durham district attorney’s office has an outstanding record of incompetence and/or prostrating before the gods of diversity. We all remember the evil white rapists that made up the Duke lacrosse team, and the poor stripper(who is now in prison for murder) and the due process they got.
    I find it amusing that Mr. Hall states that he was outspoken about vandalism and at the same time splaying set this phenomenon may be caused by the fact that immunity has no ability to move the statue because of state law.
    There’s a lot of wink wink in that statement.
    .

    • Andy Hall said, on March 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Nationwide polls show that the majority of Americans and even African-Americans believe the statues should stay obviously some of them have to be looked at in terms of the context of when the statue was put up so on.

      National or (in most cases) statewide polling is not particularly relevant. In most cases the monuments in question were set up by local counties or municipalities, have been maintained by them, and are owned by them. These are (or should be) local decisions. What someone in Texas, Alabama, California, or most of Virginia thinks should be done is irrelevant to the question about what to do in Charlottesville. Similarly with Durham.

      besides to remove statues such as these they have an obligation to find a place where these can be viewed by the public elsewhere.

      Relocation is always a better option, IMO, than destruction. However, most people who count themselves on the side of monument preservation seem not to be willing to countenance such a move. They are absolutists.

      Mr. Hall feels that for instance in the case of the Durham statue that those that feel that there might be collusion with the city to have the statue destroyed, and then not charge anyone as being the ramblings of the Confederate fetishist.

      My experience over the years has been that incompetence, ineptitude, and laziness are far more often to blame for bad outcomes than deliberate malfeasance. As you say yourself, there is ample evidence that police and prosecutors in Durham are not very good at their jobs. There’s no particular reason to believe that’s not the case here.

      There is one other option, however, it’s not only plausible but perhaps likely — that is that none of the organizations involved in investigating and prosecuting this event particularly want trials, convictions, and the inevitable appeals that will follow, that will wrap up the community in further rancor for months or years to come. It’s entirely possible that various folks involved just weren’t trying very hard to get a conviction, but that’s not entirely the same thing as a deliberate, premeditated conspiracy.

      I find it amusing that Mr. Hall states that he was outspoken about vandalism and at the same time splaying set this phenomenon may be caused by the fact that immunity has no ability to move the statue because of state law.

      I stand by what I said at the time — the people he did this should be prosecuted. I’m not sure how you might misunderstand my meaning in saying that.

      But I also stand by what I said about the historical preservation law there in North Carolina. It’s bad policy, and bad practice. The law was not the direct cause of this event in Durham, but it was without question a key part in creating the situation that led to it.

  4. James Smith said, on March 18, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Gen lee was a man , you [expletive deleted] now days are a bunch of [expletive deleted] bathroom swapping [expletive deleted]. im from huntsvill Al if you want some say something

    • Andy Hall said, on March 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Ah, homeschooling.

    • Jimmy Dick said, on March 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I think the guy is a little upset that someone rejected the lies about Saint Bobbie and instead said Saint Bobbie was a traitor.


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