‘Virginians are too sensitive or touchy to appreciate the meaning’ of the Lee monument

5/5/2017, 9:26 p.m.

Re: “Charlottesville City Council votes to sell Lee statue,” April 20-22 edition:

I’m a Canadian, and as a Canadian I feel I must first apologize to your readers for daring to comment on an issue affecting only Virginians and not Ontarians per se.

As a lover of history, especially American Civil War history, I find the decision by the Charlottesville City Council to sell the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and to rename the park in which it sits to be entirely wrong and wholly political.

It is political Bolshevism of the lowest order and suggests that Virginians are too sensitive or touchy to understand and appreciate the meaning of that monument or the man it represents.

When the city first built this monument, it was remembering the man who the South revered for fighting for its independence in a horrible war. Yes, I know it was an independence to secure slavery.

But let’s remember that Gen. Lee lost and the cause of slavery with him. The man, however, was and is legitimately recognized the world over as a military innovator and genius. Even Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf acknowledged using his stratagem to win the Gulf War. 

Historically, likewise, Gen. Lee was known to be a kind but firm master who actually freed his slaves at the midpoint of the Civil War because of his father’s will. Even Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant owned slaves through his wife’s family until the passage of the 13th Amendment. But no one wants to tear down monuments dedicated to him!

Beyond this, Gen. Lee is recognized as a true gentleman, someone who accepted the verdict of arms and who was loved as a man who did his best to preserve his troops. He was virtuous, loyal, decent and possessed other great values, values that anyone, whether a descendant of slaves, freed people, Southerners, Northerners and, yes, even Canadians would be honored to have and aspire to.

The decision of the Charlottesville City Council, therefore, appears entirely political under the guise of stopping white supremacy. It is political Bolshevism of the lowest order and is more representative of the politics of the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1989 than of America between 1776 and 1865.

I thank God this group isn’t running Queenston, Ontario, where Gen. Sir Isaac Brock’s monument sits. I’m sure they would vote to take it down and rename the park in which it sits because it might be deemed offensive to our American friends across the Niagara River who can easily see it from their highway, or those in Canada who resent historical British rule in other parts of the world.


Toronto, Ontario