Removal of the Confederate Soldier monument erected on old 1884 Warwick County Courthouse

Removal of the Confederate Soldier monument erected on old 1884 Warwick County Courthouse

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To the Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Council of Newport News,

This petition is a demand for the swift removal of the Confederate Soldier monument erected on the grounds of the old 1884 Warwick County Courthouse in 1909. It is far past time that the city of Newport News reject this symbol of oppression and racism, and thereby disavow the tacit support for such symbolism that its continued presence implies.

This statue has no place on our public grounds. There are those who argue that the removal of monuments amounts to an erasure of history. The total lack of statuary celebrating the Nazi regime in Germany should be sufficient to demonstrate that an enduring collective memory can be sustained in the absence of celebratory monuments. For while it is true that the Confederate Soldier monument reflects history, such monuments also celebrate history, and let us be clear about the history that is being so fondly recalled: one of oppression, racism, and human enslavement. 

It is a shrine to those who took up arms against our nation for the purpose of preserving the institution of slavery. 

It is an affront to all those who are descendants of those held in bondage.       

It is an affront to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who gave their lives to preserve the Union and bring an end to slavery, and every one of their descendants.

It is a constant reminder to all who behold it that the racism and injustice perpetrated on our black citizens is very much alive and pervasive in our country to this very day in so many forms.

We who add our names to this petition will accept nothing short of its immediate removal.

Signed in solidarity,