The radical left has dominated the 24-hour news cycle over the past few years. The Black Lives Matter movement marshaled millions of people to protest in the streets against police misconduct, inequality, LGBT rights and the rights of marginalized people everywhere. Black Lives Matter did shed light on the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. However, the group’s protest of confederate statues throughout the south have led to those statues being removed, and potential, an erasure of our history. Yesterday Robert E. Lee’s statue was removed from monument avenue in Richmond, VA on orders from Governor Ralph Northam. Former president Donald Trump is now protesting the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond:
Former President Donald Trump issued a statement Wednesday condemning the removal of a 131-year-old statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, calling the Confederate commander “the greatest strategist of them all” and admiring the statue’s artwork.
“Just watched as a massive crane took down the magnificent and very famous statue of ‘Robert E. Lee On His Horse’ in Richmond, Virginia,” Trump wrote. “It has long been recognized as a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture. To add insult to injury, those who support this ‘taking’ now plan to cut it into three pieces, and throw this work of art into storage prior to its complete desecration.
“Robert E. Lee is considered by many Generals to be the greatest strategist of them all,” Trump continued. “President Lincoln wanted him to command the North, in which case the war would have been over in one day. Robert E. Lee chose the other side because of his great love of Virginia, and except for Gettysburg, would have won the war. He should be remembered perhaps as the greatest unifying force after the war was over, ardent in his resolve to bring the North and South together through many means of reconciliation and imploring his soldiers to do their duty in becoming good citizens of this Country.”
Trump is exactly right. Robert E. Lee was considered the greatest strategist of all of the military generals. Due to his love of Virginia, Lee fought on the side of the confederates. However, that still does not the change the fact that Lee was a great military tactician. The Daughters of the Confederacy were running around commemorating Civil War soldiers. They raised money for statues and also wrote myths about the soldiers who fought against the union.
Myth-making and propaganda are, and will always be a part of Virginia history. While I write this, someone in Virginia is writing propaganda and creating new myths. Taking Robert E. Lee’s statue down will not change anything, but make it more difficult to detect those who wish to repeat history.