Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is seeking to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that sits in the United States Capitol.
The statue is one of two that Virginia has displayed in the Capitol — each state gets to display two statues in the Capitol — the other statue is of former President George Washington.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Northam said the governor had filed a drafting request for a bill to remove and replace the statue of Lee, according to NBC News.
Northam’s move to replace the statue comes after a letter from two Democratic lawmakers from Virginia — Rep. Jennifer Wexton and Rep. Donald McEachin — who claim the statue “aimed to rewrite Lee’s reputation from that of a cruel slave owner and Confederate General to portraying him as a kind man and reluctant war hero who selflessly served his home state of Virginia.”
The letter runs through a variety of challenges that people of color face in Virginia, then lists several historical figures from Virginia who “bravely chose to fight for justice and equality” as suggestions to replace Lee. – READ MORE