From Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and his Chief of Staff Larry Roberts. Why on earth does Virginia still observe “Lee-Jackson Day” in the year 2019? Does that make any sense whatsoever? And yeah, those were rhetorical questions…the answer is clearly “no.”
First, see below for some thoughts from Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, whose ancestors Lee and Jackson fought to keep enslaved, and who is only the second African American elected statewide in Virginia (the other being L. Douglas Wilder, elected governor in 1989).
History repeats itself. I will be stepping off the dais today in protest of the Virginia Senate honoring Robert E. Lee. I’ll be thinking of this June 5, 1798 manumission document that freed my great-great-great grandfather Simon Fairfax from slavery in Virginia. #WeRiseTogether
And now from Lt. Gov. Fairfax’s Chief of Staff, Larry Roberts:
Pleased to see that Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax renew his protest of the Senate of Virginia adjourning in honor of a Confederate general. Much better that the Senate started its day with a pledge of allegiance to our nation — indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Appreciation to Senator Stuart for expressing that his request to adjourn was not an honor of slavery and taking time to highlight General Lee’s efforts to heal the nation’s wounds after the Civil War.
Much better, however, to relegate the tradition of honoring Confederate generals to the historical dustbin and to focus on moving Virginia forward together to a brighter and more inclusive future.
There are many better ways to honor and celebrate our Commonwealth than to highlight the times when we have been on the wrong side of history.
Fortunately, the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.
— Laura Vozzella (@LVozzella) January 18, 2019