Richmond Bids Adieu to General Robert E. Lee

September 9, 2021

By Karen

It’s a rare morning when you can wake up to GOOD news, but September 8, 2021, was one of those days.

After a legal battle that began last year during the Black Lives Matter protests in response to George Floyd’s murder, on September 2 the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the state-owned statue of Robert E. Lee could be taken off of Monument Avenue.

Majestic, moneyed Monument Avenue has been a shrine to the Civil War for over 100 years, featuring statues of several other Confederate “heroes”: namely, Stonewall Jackson, Matthew Fontaine Maury (Google him, I have no idea), and Jefferson Davis, who was the Confederacy’s Donald Trump. These three have already been removed.

Now, with Lee’s departure, the last man/statue standing on Monument Avenue is, fittingly enough, black tennis superstar Arthur Ashe.

Fun Facts about the Lee statue:

  • It was the largest Confederate monument in the U.S.
  • The pedestal, now covered with graffiti, is 40 feet tall.
  • The bronze statue of Lee and his horse was 21 feet tall.
  • The statue weighs 12 tons.
  • The horse isn’t Lee’s faithful steed Traveler, but some rando whose name I didn’t catch.
  • When it was erected in 1890, they hoisted it onto the pedestal in seven or nine pieces (I saw conflicting numbers) and welded them together.
  • The pedestal contains a time capsule that’s said to include a rare photo of Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. We shall soon find out, because that capsule is being removed and replaced with a 2021 capsule that the governor’s wife helped assemble. [UPDATE 5 MINUTES LATER: I just read that they didn’t find the capsule today where they thought it was and plan to keep looking.]

It seemed thousands of people turned out, including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Governor Ralph Northam. Local TV stations had live coverage. The area around the statue and streets were blocked off. The crowd cheered and sang as Lee sailed majestically through the air…

Photo: John McDonnell, Washington Post

I didn’t see any hordes of Confederate sympathizers protesting. Maybe they were all too busy preparing to storm the Capitol in D.C. again on September 18.

Here it is on the ground…

General Lee’s face was apparently sculpted from a cast of his real face, so the likeness is genuine. He shows a Melania-like disregard for this final humiliation. All he’s missing is her squint…

I’m including this photo I took off the TV because it’s pretty funny. The equipment near his face looks like he’s smoking a cigarette in front of his own pedestal to face a fire squad…

Before transporting the statue to an unknown location for storage, workers carefully dissected Lee at mid-torso…

Trump said they cut the statue into three pieces, but I haven’t seen that. I just hope they didn’t hurt the horse. Here’s what else the orange clown spouted, just for the attention. The sentiments do reflect his idiocy, but he clearly didn’t write this because it’s coherent…

“Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left and we can’t let that happen! If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago.”

Trump’s handlers obviously don’t realize that Lee ended the Civil War in “complete and total surrender” at Appomattox.

This was the front page of our local paper today. The Times-Dispatch must feel frantic as Civil War “developments” they’ve relied on for decades as a daily staple of their reporting dry up…

Accompanying Trump’s mental diarrhea was a page of public comments, mostly pro, some con. Some Southerners are still butt-hurt that owning human beings for profit is no longer a “thing.” It will probably take another generation or two for them to die off. The fewer reminders they have of the “good old days,” the better.

Some years ago, I was driving through the rolling Virginia mountains toward Charlottesville (probably going to visit Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home, Monticello). It made me sad to think that after spending most of my life here, I still couldn’t consider myself a Virginian because Virginia refused to let go of the Civil War.

A writer in today’s paper, Robert Allen, arrived here in 1977, five years after me. His impression of Richmond matched mine…

“…a Lost Cause theme park; statues, streets, schools, bridges, buildings — the glory of the Confederacy was the only story Richmond was telling.”

Thank God, times are FINALLY changing here. A few years ago, nobody would have dreamed Richmond would sacrifice Monument Avenue’s perverted grandeur to get with the century.

There’s still one relatively modest Confederate statue in another part of town, of General A.P. Hill (I know, I have no idea either). It stands in a well-traveled intersection, and the general himself is buried under it — get this — standing up…

Those crazy Confederates, what will they think of next?


Chapter 76: COVID Chronicles

June 12, 2020

By Karen

Day 93

Toilet Paper Review & A Confederate Symbol That REALLY Needs to Go

When I accepted 14 rolls of Scott toilet paper my parents rejected after my mother complained it was too thin, I thought she was just being picky…

Turns out she wasn’t. I started using a roll, and this is the same paper you find in public restrooms on those big industrial rolls, where you have to pull off 6 feet to keep from soaking your hand and dripping dry.

This paper is so thin, they could almost make contact lenses from it.

The upside is that every other toilet paper in the house will now feel luxurious. I got a 32-pack of Quilted Northern at Sam’s Club back in April that I haven’t tapped yet. It’s going to feel like I’m wiping with pillows.

No other Confederate statues got ravaged last night, but yesterday the Richmond Police Memorial statue commemorating officers killed in the line of duty was removed for its own safety from Byrd Park after protesters hit him with red spray paint…

Photo Richmond Free Press

I assume he’s now comparing notes somewhere with Jefferson Davis and Columbus.

I read today that Virginia has the second highest concentration of Confederate statues in the South. Only Georgia has more. The Richmond area alone has 13.

Well, 11, since Davis and Wickham came down. Columbus doesn’t count because he had no dog in the Civil War fight.

But this is not to say that Richmond has made no headway in honoring African Americans. We’ve got statues of tennis champion Arthur Ashe, dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Maggie Walker, a prominent black teacher businesswoman from the early 1900s, and the newest statue in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, “Rumors of War,” which depicts a black man wearing Nikes, posed like the statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue…

Photos Left: VMFA. Right: Richmond.com

What really should go is the Confederate flag. It causes far more mayhem than any statue because it’s portable and wearable. Amazingly, NASCAR just banned it, although that will be hard to enforce once NASCAR fans are allowed back in.

These are people who watch cars drive in circles for hours. Instead of expending any thought to design a flag depicting whatever it is they DO stand for — if not racism and white supremacy — they wave a symbol of the dead Confederacy as if the South has a prayer of rising again, populated by morons who still carry a grudge against black people 155 years later.

Moving on to cat news, this morning while I was reading the paper I could hear Tony being cute with the Chewy box. As soon as he realized I noticed, here’s what he did (watch the middle of the paper)…

A few minutes later, I tried again. This time he circled me like a shark…

After I gave up and went back to the newspaper, he settled in his perch and allowed me this shot of his adorable toes…


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