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Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe: Remove All Confederate Statues

Image: Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe: Remove All Confederate Statues
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:40 PM

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday called on state and local officials to remove Confederate monuments and "relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings."

"The discussion regarding whether to relocate Confederate statues is an important and legitimate conversation that should take place in each community that contains one," the Democrat said in statement posted on Twitter.

"Monuments should serve as unifiers, to inspire us collectively and to venerate our greatest citizens.

"Unfortunately, the recent events in Charlottesville demonstrate that monuments celebrating the leadership of the Confederacy have become flashpoints for hatred, division, and violence," McAuliffe 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 governor said.

Saturday's violence in Charlottesville killed a local woman, Heather Heyer, 32, and injured 19 others when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. plowed a crowd in the city's downtown mall area.

Fields, 20, of Maumee, Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, according to news reports.

He remains jailed without bond.

Two Virginia State Police troopers also died in a helicopter crash relating to the violence.

Earlier Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said a commission he formed in June would now also discuss removing Confederate statues from one of the city's major thoroughfares, Monument Avenue.

"Effective immediately, the Monument Avenue Commission will include an examination of the removal and/or relocation of some or all of the confederate statues," Stoney said in a statement reported by The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The mayor's 10-member commission includes academics, historians, and community leaders — and it would now consider removal along with "adding context," which was its original mandate, he said.

"While we had hoped to use this process to educate Virginians about the history behind these monuments," Stoney said, "the events of the last week may have fundamentally changed our ability to do so by revealing their power to serve as a rallying point for division and intolerance and violence."

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday called on state and local officials to remove Confederate monuments and "relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings."
confederate, statues, terry mcauliffe, virginia
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2017-40-16
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:40 PM
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