Tuesday, June 16, I visited the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, VA. I’ve never, in my 40 something years of living in Virginia, intentionally gone to see it.
So why now?
I wanted to capture, in time, all of the graffiti representing the scream of people who have had more than enough injustice, inequality, inhumane treatment, ignorance, oppression, hatred and pain. I needed to not only see it or touch it but be a part of it. History is being made. We are making history. The statue is coming down after 130 years…
So why now?
It’s almost as if, people didn’t know what they stood for and officials didn’t care how we felt about them. Well they can never say that again. All of a sudden this 12 ton, 21 foot symbol of white supremacy, along with 3 other confederate statues located on Monument Avenue, are coming down. The statue in my pictures is the largest and seemingly the most difficult to take down both physically and legally. I won’t get into the reasons they are using to delay the removal because it doesn’t matter. It should no longer be there. It will come down one way or another. If the city doesn’t do it the people will. Just like they did the statues of William Carter Wickham (June 6), Christopher Columbus (June 9), Jefferson Davis (June 10), and the Richmond Howitzers (June 16).
We are tired and intolerant. We are prideful and powerful. We are roaring and rising, defending and fighting for what we deserve, we demand. and must all lend a hand to the momentum of the movement.
If you’re wondering how you can do that, here are some suggestions:
- Learn what your rights are so you may be well informed when exercising them…all of them. Look into the Constitution and it’s amendments.
- Be conscious about where your money goes. Support black owned businesses and restaurants.
- Make ongoing donations to organizations for program funding, legal battles, and related expenses. Every little bit helps.
- Sign petitions (online), send letters, emails, texts, and make phone calls.
- Make a statement without saying a word by wearing supportive gear (shirts, hats, bags, pins, shoes…be creative). Your apparel may be the only message they see. (“they” refers to people who “don’t ever see the news, social media, listen to the radio, or aren’t concerned with what affects and oppresses black people).
- Support local events by monetary donations, advertisement, attendance, and participation,
- Help educate, register and motivate voters.
This evening, I will be praying for the speedy removal of that and any other symbol in the USA reminding us of how things were, why things still are and how resistant some are to let us live in our greatness, peace and harmony. Feel you at 10:00.