On MLK Day, descendants of Lee, Stonewall Jackson urge Va. to halt Confederate tributesBreaking News
tags: Martin Luther King, statues, Confederacy, holidays, monuments
Descendants of two Confederate generals appeared in the Virginia Senate on Monday to show their support for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who days earlier sat out a Republican senator’s ode to Robert E. Lee.
The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, a great-great-great-great-nephew of Lee, and Warren Christian, a great-great-grandson of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, oppose tributes to their Confederate ancestors. They have done so publicly since 2017, when the proposed removal of Gen. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville was the rallying cry for a white-supremacist rally that turned deadly.
Fairfax (D), a descendant of slaves and only the second African American elected statewide in Virginia history, invited Lee and Christian to the Senate session on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which this year happened to fall on Jackson’s birthday.
"As a Robert Lee, I want to be a different footnote in history,” Lee said in an interview afterward. “And I want to stand with Justin Fairfax . . . and say that honoring the racist, white-supremacist past that we hold with statues, with mentions . . . on the floor of the commonwealth’s legislature is a no-go for me and a no-go for so many people of goodwill in the South.”
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