Booker T. Washington

Who should replace Robert E. Lee in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall?

Anyone from this part of the Old Dominion want to suggest a statue of a prominnent Virginian for placement in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC?

It can’t be Robert E. Lee. His statue in the hall was dumped in July by The Commission for Historical Statues in the U.S. Capitol, a new outfit created by the Virginia General Assembly.

Anyone with new ideas can register by noon online Wednesday to give their recommendation at a virtual online forum Thursday at 830 a.m.

The Commission is taking recommendations at their meeting Thursday and will conduct a remote public hearing in November (date not set yet).

Each state of the union get two statues in the Hall. George Washington is Virginia’s other one and it is not beng dumped.

Several names already submitted include:

Barbara Johns, a Farmville school girl who he walkout at Farmville’s Moton High School n 1951 to protest the “substandard segregated schools” in Prince Edward County. The action became part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that declared segregated public schools unconstitutional.

That decision also resulted in the closure of all public schools in that county and opening of an all-white “private school” supported and funded by the racist school board and supervisors. I know. I was a student there until my family fled the country and moved to Floyd County, where the schools were integrated.

James Madison is another recommendation, as is educator Booker T. Washington, civil rights attorney Oliver Hill and George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan to aid Europe after World War II.

My reccomentation might be a couple: Richard and Mildred Loving, the biracial Virginia couple, sentenced to prison in 1958 because they married. Their mistreatment came from Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized biracial marriage. The racist law was struck down unanimously on June 12, 1967, as unconstituional.

Or maybe we need to wait for the soon-to-be right wing Supreme Court to knock down another landmark decision — the one that legalized gay marriage. That decision has been under attack by those who claim to the “Christian” and claim so-called “laws of God” outlaw unions of those of the same sex.

Sad irony. We strive now to rid this state of the may statues and monuments erected to “honor” those who fought against our nation to support the right to enslave one race and the chief homophobe in the White House keeps stacking the higher court with those who want to return this nation to the dark ages.

Maybe it would be better to just tear down Statuary Hall in Washington.

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