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Robert E. Lee’s Descendants Weigh In On Charlottesville

The violence that was perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday stemmed from a protest they were holding against the planned removal of a bronze Robert E. Lee statue from a public park. Robert E. Lee was the general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and has become a symbol of white supremacy among the new alt right movement.

That’s not how at least one of General Lee’s descendants sees it.

On Wednesday, Robert E. Lee V, General Lee’s Great great grandson, condemned the violence in Charlottesville and suggested perhaps it was time to remove these statues from the public square.

“Eventually, someone is going to have to make a decision, and if that’s the local lawmaker, so be it. But we have to be able to have that conversation without all of the hatred and the violence. And if they choose to take those statues down, fine. Maybe it’s appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard.”

Lee said his family sends “their best to the people in Charlottesville” and that:

“Those sorts of acts on Saturday, that’s just not to be tolerated. We feel strongly that Gen. Lee would never ever stand for that sort of violence.”

The Charlottesville City Council had earlier voted to remove Lee’s statue from the park once known as Lee Park, although its removal is currently on hold pending litigation. A few months ago, the park was renamed Emancipation Park.

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  • Todd Beeton is a digital strategist living in New York City, specializing in the use of social media tools for digital storytelling. During the 2008 election, Todd blogged about the presidential election as a front page blogger and editor for MyDD.com, a national progressive political site. For the last several years, Todd was proud to serve as digital director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, directing her social media content and strategy over four election cycles.

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