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Protesters and counter-demonstrators clashing on the streets of Charlottesville, VA plunged the college town into the national spotlight last August.

Abhorrent acts of violence ultimately led to the deaths of anti-protester Heather Heyer and two law enforcement officials.

Both prior to and post the devastation that erupted in response to the “Unite the Right” rally, Charlottesville was the focus of many White Nationalists and members of Alt-Right groups over the removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park.

In 2016 the City Council of Charlottesville voted to have the monument removed. Since then several torch-lit rallies have popped up at the park protesting the Council’s decision.

Not long after the tragedy in Charlottesville, protests were held in Richmond, Virginia over the removal of the capital city’s Confederate monuments. However, unlike the turbulence in Charlottesville, the Richmond protests were non-violent.

Robert Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia.

Source: Andrew Lichtenstein / Getty

For now, the statues still remain and the wounds are beginning to heal. The historic election of Nikuyah Walker, Charlottesville’s first African-American woman to the office of Mayor is proof of that.

However, the debate continues. Should the monuments be removed or do they have a place in history in our parks and public spaces?

This February, we focus on the Power of Protest and what it means to our nation. Radio One Richmond’s Community Clovia, Cam Cooper, and Chelsea Lemore take both sides of the “Monumental Debate.” See our discussion above.

Where do you stand? Should the monuments be taken down?

 

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