Mayor Levar M. Stoney (D) of Richmond, Virginia is all puffed up with pride because he has overseen the complete removal of statues in the city depicting major Civil War figures who sided with the Confederacy. “Over two years ago, Richmond was home to more confederate statues than any city in the United States,” Stoney said in a statement on Twitter. “Collectively, we have closed that chapter. We now continue the work of being a more inclusive and welcoming place where ALL belong.” His victory lap was occasioned by the toppling of the last Confederate statue remaining in the city of 230,000, which memorialized Ambrose P. Hill, Robert E. Lee’s most trusted lieutenant general, and which had stood on a pedestal at a busy intersection in Richmond since 1892. Hill’s remains were in the pedestal of the statue, now ticketed for the local Black History Museum, where it can be assured of obscurity. Hill’s remains? Supposedly they will be deposited in a grave somewhere, but who knows? They may get flushed down a toilet.
My question is what will the airbrushers plan to do with the city? Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy; its existence is certainly a more prominent memorial to the Grays than any statue of a general most non-Civil War buffs couldn’t distinguish from Benny Hill or Pork Chop Hill. Richmond’s crucial role in the Civil War is its primary claim to fame. Level it, I say. That’s the only way to “close the chapter.” A city that was mission central for the South’s efforts to enslave blacks—-there was really more to it than that, but I’m mouthing the official, historically ignorant line here—can’t possibly be a welcoming place: who does the woke mayor think he’s fooling? At very least, Richmond has to change its name, doesn’t it? Maybe to something like Floydtown or Diversityopolis?