The divisive, Sanctuary City mayor of Richmond, Levar Stoney is appointing a commission to look at adding “diversity” and context to the Confederate soldier statues on Monument Avenue. Mayor Stoney reportedly said, "It’s our time; it’s our responsibility to set the historical record straight on Monument Avenue’s confederate statuary.” "Equal parts myth and deception, they were the ‘alternative facts’ of their time – a false narrative etched in stone and bronze more than 100 years ago – not only to lionize the architects and defenders of slavery – but to perpetuate the tyranny and terror of Jim Crow and reassert a new era of white supremacy." Now, that’s creative writing.
The architects of slavery date at least to the end of the last Ice Age. No monuments to them in Richmond.
The defenders of slavery?
That would be the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case. No monuments to them, either. The statues on Monument Avenue weren’t about Jim Crow. In those days, the Democrats who got elected with racially divisive politics wouldn’t hesitate to build a statue to Simon Legree whipping a slave – if they intended to assert white supremacy. Read their speeches.
The Virginia First Foundation understands the commission is about racial politics playing well enough to keep Democrats elected. We doubt the commission will have any diversity of ideas or context beyond the accepted Liberal Left PC alternative facts of this bizarre time. VFF knows “diversity” is dog whistle, Liberal Left code for “other than White males.” If such diversity is needed for Monument Avenue, we genuinely propose adding greater context to statues to heroes of Virginia’s most costly war ever. Add these statues:
- Jewish Confederate Cabinet member - Judah Benjamin. The South produced the first Jewish Senator for the US. The Confederacy had the only Jewish Cabinet member.
- Cherokee Indian Confederate General - BG Stand Watie. There were no general officers in the Union Army. A great plaque would be the actual Indian tribes’ articles of secession from the Union.
- Confederate Captain Sally Louisa Tompkins – Commissioned in the CSA. There were no commissioned women officers in the Union Army, just contract officers. CPT Tompkins saved many lives and returned many to fight again when she ran Robertson Hospital.
- Confederate Black Soldiers - Show a symbol of the 45 black men, armed to the teeth, who fought in the Escort Company to the Confederate Nathan Bedford Forrest (Yes, that Forrest) as slaves and then continued fighting for 18 months as free men.
- Confederate Hispanic Soldiers - Choose an icon, there are so many choices, from the Hispanic men and officers in Confederate Texas regiments.
And, finally, a sort of summary statue could be to “All the Victims of Yankee War Crimes 1861-65”.
Maybe add “and depredations of Occupation 1866-1876”. (Virginia was readmitted to the Union in 1870 – which always begs the question, “If States can NOT secede legally, then why must they be readmitted?”).
The list of War Crimes could include the general burning of the Shenandoah Valley for the hunger-related deaths it caused, or specifically name Mosby’s murdered men. It could mention the rapes of liberated slave women and state specific homes looted, on and on.
Let’s tell all the history, not PC cartoon memes, for greater context. Yes, War is Hell (Thank you,General Sherman), so Virginia’s war monuments should speak of courage, duty and honor - not culture war.