In the wee small hours of Friday morning, a Pennsylvania-based statue removal firm crept into the Virginia State Capitol to collect all the statues and busts of shitty dead men like the tooth fairies of racism, while anyone who might make a fuss was fast asleep in their little beds. Instead of leaving a dollar in their place, Virginians now get the opportunity to replace the statues of bad people (who also didn’t fight wars that good) with statues of literally anyone else!
Perhaps having learned the lessons of letting people debate whether or not to keep government-funded monuments to slavery on courthouse lawns and lining the halls of public buildings throughout the country, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn simply ordered the removals of seven busts of vanquished Confederacy guys barely anyone remembers. She also ordered the removal of a 900-pound, life-sized, bronze statue of General Robert E. Lee that stood in the exact spot where he accepted the job offer to lead the South to defeat in the battle that would decide whether or not America would continue enslaving, torturing, and murdering human beings for better profit margins on plants. Later that evening, outside the normal protesting hours of the racists who would argue that the war was actually about states’ right to decide whether or not to enslave, torture, and murder human beings, Filler-Corn simply had some garbage collectors come and take the bad men away as a select few members of the press watched.
And while the room where the busts sat might have been the capital of the Confederacy, according to Filler-Corn, Virginia has lots to be proud of that doesn’t involve being historical advocates for slavery, and they’re probably gonna get some statues that celebrate whatever those things are now:
“Virginia has a story to tell that extends far beyond glorifying the Confederacy and its participants,” Filler-Corn said a statement. “Now is the time to provide context to our Capitol to truly tell the Commonwealth’s whole history.”
Elsewhere in Richmond, Governor Ralph Northam is fighting to take down a giant statue of Lee on Monument Avenue, while Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has also been quietly removing statues around the city in the night. As to what will replace the statues in the Thomas Jefferson-designed Capitol building, an advisory committee is getting together ideas. Here is my pitch: A story, told completely in melted bronze from confederate statues, of the mass alien abduction that happened in 1590 at the colony of Roanoke, which my seventh-grade history teacher tried to tell me didn’t happen but absolutely did.