76ºF

Lee monument doesn’t belong in public space, says history professor

Knowing what we know now, he says Confederate statues shouldn’t be on public property

RICHMOND, Va. – As Virginia moves forward with the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, one professor of history education says it doesn't belong in a public space.

Dr. Gabriel Reich says the ‘Lost Cause’ narrative began after the Civil War.

The narrative was an effort to restore a sense of order and honor to the badly wounded and defeated South by documenting the Civil War as a noble cause and not about slavery.

He said knowing what we know now, the Confederate statue doesn’t belong on public property.

“When we allow the continued presence of monuments in our public spaces that are hostile to a large portion of our population, and in this case African Americans in Virginia, that we are sending a message about who counts and whose voices count in our public spaces. That is a very anti-democratic message to say that only a small section of society's voices count so we're going to leave the statues up and you're going to have to deal with it," said Reich.

Five of the six statues on Monument Avenue pay tribute to the Confederacy.


About the Author: