Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia (photo: Cville dog, via Wikimedia Commons)
"At the center of the chaos is a statue memorializing Robert E. Lee. It depicts the Confederacy’s top general, larger than life, astride a horse, both green with oxidation."
NYTimes August 13, 2017
If public art in Charlottesville Virginia is the "center of the chaos," as the New York Times says, the toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, is a new tipping point. CNN reports
"The campaign to relocate Charlottesville’s Lee statue is part of a nationwide movement to critically examine and recontextualize public artworks that pay tribute to or otherwise elevate white supremacy, chief among them monuments to the Confederacy."
Hyperallergic August 13, 2017
"After Charlottesville, it should be clear now to everyone that the urgency to rid ourselves of these markers of America’s racist past comes not from some childish desire to block out painful history, but to challenge a racist present. White nationalism is not just a cultural legacy. It is an ongoing public safety crisis, and should be treated as such."
Jamil Smith LATimes Op-Ed I August 14, 2017
"The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, IV, the general’s great-great-great-great-nephew, has for years struggled with the legacy attached to the name he bears. And on Saturday, he followed along in horror when images surfaced online of a white nationalist rally defending a statue of his ancestor in Charlottesville, Va.
As white nationalists clashed with counterprotestors, and the mayhem turned deadly, Lee said he was heartbroken.
'It broke my heart to see a symbol of my family being used to allow such hate,' Lee told HuffPost. 'All in the name of what my relative stood for.' "
HuffPo August 14, 2017
"While the debate about how we memorialize figures from our past continues, we the descendants of Robert E. Lee decry in the strongest terms the misuse of his memory by those advancing a message of intolerance and hate. We urge the nation’s leaders as well as local citizens to engage in a civil, respectful and non-hateful conversation."
Signed: Robert E. Lee V, Great-great-grandson of General Robert E. Lee;
and Tracy Lee Crittenberger, Great-great-granddaughter of General Robert E. Lee.
Full Statement at Newsweek.
"No telling of General Lee’s story, however complicated, can be separated from the symbolism of the leading role he played in a grievous chapter of American history. That part — and the decisions by Charlottesville’s city council, New Orleans’s mayor and Lexington, Kentucky’s mayor to move forward with removing Confederate statues from places of honor in public spaces — isn’t complicated. The general was as cruel a slave owner as any other and fought to preserve and defend a society based on the brutal enslavement of black people that, had it persisted until today, would have included me. His cause wasn’t righteous, then or now. He’s my ancestor, and as far as I’m concerned, his statues can’t come down soon enough."
Karen Finney for the Washington Post August 15, 2017
"As members of this community, we are deeply saddened and sickened by the events that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend. Our deepest condolences to the grieving families of Heather Heyer; Virginia State Trooper Berke Bates; and Virginia State Police Lt. H. Jay Cullen. To those still recovering from their injuries in area hospitals, may you quickly & fully recover. We hope that each of us can reflect upon and pray for a return to civility."
Save the Robert E. Lee Statue (Facebook) August 15, 2017
"Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is in the national spotlight after calling for a review of all public art.
His request for the review comes as some call for Confederate statues to come down around Louisville in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, Va."
WHAS11 August 15, 2017
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.