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Bid to speed ouster of Lee icon denied

State says no to protest-skittish mayor

By COMPILED BY DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF WIRE REPORTS

This article was published August 19, 2017 at 4:26 a.m.

a-sign-bearing-the-words-heather-heyer-park-sits-friday-at-the-base-of-the-statue-of-confederate-gen-robert-e-lee-in-emancipation-park-in-charlottesville-va-heyer-was-killed-last-weekend-while-protesting-a-white-nationalist-rally-in-charlottesville

A sign bearing the words Heather Heyer Park sits Friday at the base of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va. Heyer was killed last weekend while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

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Photos by The Associated Press

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer stands in the rain Friday in Charlottesville, Va., near the site where Heather Heyer was killed by a car last Saturd...

RICHMOND, Va. -- The mayor of Charlottesville, Va., on Friday called for an emergency meeting of state lawmakers to confirm the city's right to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a request that was swiftly rejected by the governor.

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Photos by The Associated Press

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer stands in the rain Friday in Charlottesville, Va., near the site where Heather Heyer was killed by a car last Saturd...

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RBear says... August 19, 2017 at 8:48 a.m.

Before the right wingers go BSC over this article, it should be noted that a Democratic governor put the brakes on the call for an emergency special session. I agree with Gov. McAuliffe on the matter. Let this play out in the courts and, if the need still exist, consider a special session of the legislature to address the issue. Special sessions cost money to convene and this one may not be necessary. Public opinion seems to be on the side of the city so that may help in reviewing the case.
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There is a movement afoot across the country to help this nation move forward as Lee suggested. I've heard some talk about Lee's legacy in healing a nation. It should be noted that a part of that legacy was Lee's position that for the nation to heal, monuments should NOT be erected in memory of the Confederacy. While Lee may have been wrong in leading the Confederacy into battle, he was right on this issue. I just wish those oppose removal would think about this a little more.
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People have said there is emotion in this issue. Yes there is, from a group of Americans who can't reason through the issue.

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PopulistMom says... August 19, 2017 at 9:38 a.m.

I agree that Virginia should not have gone to the expense of a special session to remove one statue in Charlottesville. Some of the tearing down of statues is getting out of hand and people are running amok. There is a big difference between statues which were put up to intimidate blacks and those that were war memorials or are in an appropriate place. Washington & Lee removed the confederate flag from Lee Chapel a few years back and moved it down to Robert E. Lee's crypt. As the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond should keep its monument row intact (in my opinion). The Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery is beautiful, and I suspect that it was intended to heal the regional divides in this country which still exist today. People are so angry at the white supremacists that they want to start tearing everything down. Some of the tear downs are appropriate and some are going overboard. I believe that Richmond's monument alley also has a statue of Arthur Ashe. If they don't have one of Douglas Wilder, they should.

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PopulistMom says... August 19, 2017 at 9:47 a.m.

I also don't think that the statue of Albert Pike in Judiciary Square in D.C. should be removed just because he was a Confederate General. He was known more for his work for the masons and his writing. Pike also ran one of Arkansas' earliest newspapers and was a lawyer who drafted the first Arkansas legal form book. It will be a shame if he comes down, but I suspect that because he is in D.C. down he will come. Maybe he could be moved to Arkansas.

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TravisBickle says... August 19, 2017 at 11:29 a.m.

I heard Colonel Sanders is next!!

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DEE672 says... August 19, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

Would someone please tell me when this frenzy to take down monuments began and why?
I tried to find out and got a threat attack warning. I think it is divisive and causing the racial divide to get wider. Today's heroes are tomorrow's villains. Harry Truman is presently held in high esteem but if a nuclear war breaks out he could be assailed for being the first and only leader to drop a nuclear bomb, even TWO, on civilians who were not even military targets. He could easily be called a war criminal along with Henry Kissinger, Dubya Bush, and Dick Cheney for the Iraq War. Kissinger also encouraged Nixon to continue the Vietnam War for political reasons. Now there is a cluster of super villains.

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DEE672 says... August 19, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

While I detest the Nazis and white nationalists who claimed to be protecting the Confederate monuments , why in the world did the counter protesters show up with baseball bats ready for combat. That dishonors what they claim to be doing. What happened to peaceful civil disobedience taught and practiced by Gandhi and his follower ML King and some war protesters of which I was a member against the Vietnam War in the 1960's and against the White Citizen Councils in the 1950's after forced integration in the South. I lost my U of AR contract and was out of work in a case that went to the Supreme Court and decided in our favor in 1960. You can find it on the internet. We were not physical warriors, just moral ones with something to lose. We must resist the alt-right, but not with physical force, not with bats and boards but with our lives in a peaceful manner.

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TravisBickle says... August 19, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.

@DEE, another question is who put them up in the first place and why did they think it was a good idea at the time?

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RBear says... August 19, 2017 at 1:09 p.m.

Dee, I have to ask the question why did the protesters come armed with guns, assault rifles, poles, shields, other firearms, and protective gear? Maybe the counter protesters came to protect themselves from the protesters.

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DEE672 says... August 19, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

Travis , I don't know exactly why people did things in the past but I doubt the reason was to inflame tensions .
RB when you see protesters come armed for battle the last thing you should do is show up armed to do the same. If you think old monuments from a time in history you didn't experience are worth putting your jobs or lives at risk , you should come unarmed and just hold up protest signs. If the hoodlums beat up the sign holders they win the hearts and minds of the spectators on TV or in person.
It is clear to me we need to teach the non violent techniques of Gandhi. One does not have to be violent. Example, in the 1950's , a very dangerous time for defenders of equal rights, here is what I did. When a black woman is told to go sit in the back of the bus, just quietly and without comment, go sit next to her.
Gandhi's philosophy needs to be revisited.

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PopulistMom says... August 19, 2017 at 2:34 p.m.

Dee,

I think the remove the monuments movement has been festering for a while with a few places deciding to not replace monuments that were damaged and other places taking down the Confederate flags as more and more white supremacists started using the flags as their symbols. In 1996 the City of Richmond added a statue of the African American tennis player, Arthur Ashe, to its row of monuments of Confederate generals. In 2014 Washington & Lee University removed Confederate flags out of the Lee Chapel. The movement really took off in South Carolina after the Charleston Church shooting in 2015. Nikki Haley lowered the Confederate flag and many Confederate monuments were removed from South Carolina. New Orleans started taking down monuments recently. Following the violence in Charlottesville, communities across America started taking down statues of Confederates and some racists to protest the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. By adopting these statues as their symbols, the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists really are ensuring their destruction.

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