The mayor of Richmond, Va., ordered the removal of a statue of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson on Wednesday, and city authorities said additional confederate monuments will be removed in the near future.
Richmond mayor Levar Stoney’s initiative comes amid massive nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Protesters have toppled various statues of historical figures including Christopher Columbus, however monuments to the Confederacy have come under particular scrutiny because of the history of slavery in southern states that chose to secede
from the Union.
“The Berlin Wall fell, but also the system fell with it,” Stoney, a Democrat, told a crowd assembled to watch city workers remove the Jackson statue. “Now for us, as elected leaders, alongside our community, it’s our job to rip out the systemic racism that is found in everything we do — from government, to health care, to the criminal justice system.”
Stoney used emergency powers to order the statue’s removal after the City Council delayed a vote on removing four Confederate monuments in Richmond.