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Mayor Stoney in review

1/5/2018, 6:30 p.m.

We believe Mayor Stoney is getting sucked in on this one by people and groups putting their own special interests ahead of the greater interests of the city. Whatever plans are brought to the table must be thoroughly scrutinized and examined for their immediate, future and hidden impacts.

Secondly, in June, Mayor Stoney announced the creation of a Monument Avenue Commission to put the statues of Confederate traitors into “context.”

Again, we say, there is no proper “context” to be added to statues venerating white supremacists and slave owners who were so committed to keeping black people in human bondage that they took up arms against the United States. They were traitors. And even in defeat, Confederate sympathizers in this city wanted to remind black people of their “place” by erecting statues to these lawless, vanquished villains.

The statues must come down. We have been made to kiss their feet long enough.

Whether the statues are sold to the state, donated to the National Park Service for placement on historic battlefields in Virginia or moved at private expense to museums about the Confederacy and the misguided, soulless men who led it, they need to be removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. And instead, monuments to true heroes need to be put in their place.

We acknowledge that Mayor Stoney’s views on the statues have evolved since June; he has put removal of the city’s Confederate monuments on the table. 

But we hope that his thoughts  — about that which is true, honest and just and what would be best to move this city forward from a deeply hurtful and divisive past  — will continue to come into focus and lead to action that people in this city can take pride in and by which the city can be healed.

Taking the statues down would be a true hallmark and legacy of Mayor Stoney’s time in office. Tackling the Confederate monuments issue would give people the verve and buoyant spirit to tackle many other issues facing the city.