Patterico's Pontifications

7/1/2020

Richmond Mayor Uses Emergency Powers To Remove Confederate Statues From City Land

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:35 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Happening now:

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues on city land, saying he was using his emergency powers to speed up the healing process for the former capital of the Confederacy amid weeks of protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

Work crews began removing a statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson early Wednesday afternoon. Flatbed trucks and other equipment were also spotted at several other Confederate monuments along Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue.

Another famous statue on city land is that of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had previously ordered the most prominent statue along the avenue, that of Gen. Robert E. Lee, which sits on state land. The removal has been stalled pending the resolution of a lawsuit from at least two people who oppose its removal.

Stoney said he was also moving quickly because protesters have already toppled several Confederate monuments and is concerned that people could be hurt trying to take down the gigantic statues.

A new state law has granted cities the power to make said decisions.

Just this morning, President Trump warned protesters about taking down statues:

On Sunday, Trump was asked about recent efforts to remove Confederate statues and monuments. His resistance to the removal of them was based on history, heritage…and art:

You don’t want to take away our heritage and history and the beauty, in many cases, the beauty, the artistic beauty. Some of the sculptures and some of this work is some of the great — you can go to France, you can go anywhere in the world and you will never see more magnificent work. And that’s a factor. It’s not the biggest factor but it’s a factor.

–Dana

62 Responses to “Richmond Mayor Uses Emergency Powers To Remove Confederate Statues From City Land”

  1. It’s all about the beauty of the art!

    Dana (25e0dc)

  2. And people say we do not leave in a permissive society. Why doesn’t the Richmond mayor order banks to put all their cash out on the sidewalk so people won’t rob them, too?

    nk (1d9030)

  3. My fears that Trump was about to veer in the direction of sanity were clearly misplaced.

    According to reports today (h/t Allahpundit):

    I’m a broken record on this point but I can’t get over the fact that the president’s slipped to a 10-point deficit in national polling and his diagnosis of what ails him is that he’s not Trumpy enough.

    There’s too much “woke sh*t” in his campaign, you see. He’s too soft. Never mind that his chief contribution to the reckoning much of the public’s experienced over the past month on racism and police brutality was to send cops into Lafayette Park to strongarm protesters and to threaten to send the U.S. military into America’s streets to shoot looters.

    There’s no “Trump problem” that can’t be solved with more Trump.

    […]

    President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking tell Axios.

    Behind the scenes: One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: “No more of Jared’s woke s***.” Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner’s advice has harmed him politically…
    […]

    This might also explain his moronic decision to veto funding for the Pentagon in defense of Confederate base names at a moment when he’s already taking heat for not supporting U.S. troops aggressively enough in the Russian bounties matter. From here on out he’s going to get crazy with the MAGA cheez whiz.

    LOL.

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. Our POTUS is like the weather; ineffable, but that doesn’t prevent vast resources committed to fight, understand, and predict it.

    felipe (023cc9)

  5. “Formal capitulation in the former Capital.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  6. Haha felipe!

    Happily, the weather where I live is much more agreeable…

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. I prefer statues to people whose chief claim to greatness is not losing a war to protect slavery.

    Victor (0301a3)

  8. I don’t like this process. But I have no problem with this outcome. I’m yet to see anyone actually provide a good defense of the confederate statues on the merits of the statues themselves. It’s always some other reason, opposition to being woke, dislike for the left in general, fear of a slippery slope, don’t want to appease the mob etc. makes me think no one really wants these statues up for their own right.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  9. buh bye mnt rushmore

    mg (8cbc69)

  10. Ugh. I have a feeling that the good people of Richmond would, given a few weeks to debate and vote, have chosen to remove those statues themselves, either by public referendum or by a vote of whatever civic board controls this stuff. Now this mayor has made matters worse by short-circuiting that debate and acting unilaterally. And this claim that this was done “to speed up the healing process” is very weak tea indeed. All he has done is grandstand and turned statue removal into something forced upon the people of Richmond rather than a move they have taken on their own accord. True leadership would respect the democratic process here.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. Time123 (9f42ee) — 7/1/2020 @ 3:02 pm

    May I suggest the perfectly appropriate phrase:

    Who the hell do you think you are?

    felipe (023cc9)

  12. Well, this article pretty much explains why Mayor Stoney decided to push forward:

    Levar Stoney’s hands shook as he tried to steady the megaphone.

    Facing a charged crowd of more than 1,500 on the steps of City Hall, Richmond’s black mayor tried to atone for why his police force had fired tear gas on Black Lives Matter protesters standing with their hands raised beneath the Robert E. Lee monument a night earlier.

    After emerging to a chorus of boos, he tried to relay the apology he had rehearsed. Jeers drowned him out. Some sought to quiet the crowd to give him a few minutes to speak. Others had already heard enough.

    “Yesterday we violated [the social] contract,” he said, to shouts of “Yes you did!” A woman grabbed another megaphone and screamed for resignations. Others shouted profanities. An 8-year-old girl who wanted to talk said she was afraid to speak up (she did).

    What he thought would be a public apology became a public reckoning for Stoney, a Democrat with well-publicized ambition for higher office who’s up for re-election in November. A confrontation that could have derailed his political career set in motion a historic decision he would announce a day later.

    [emphasis added]

    A profile in courage that was. Someone alert the Kennedy Family so they can give him their little award.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  13. JVW (ee64e4) — 7/1/2020 @ 3:15 pm

    Agree, JVW. Sometimes the most just decision is where everyone feel sc3rwed.

    felipe (023cc9)

  14. A picture of the Mayor before he came to “his” decision. [rim shot]

    felipe (023cc9)

  15. True leadership would respect the democratic process here.

    Meh. A law was duly passed by the state legislature, which holds plenary power for the state, and the mayor himself was elected.

    It’s a wise move to try to de-escalate the situation and avoid possible loss of life and property over these monuments to evil that should have never been erected in the first place.

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. A picture of the Mayor before he came to “his” decision.

    Yep. Never stand between an ambitious young politician (he’s 39) and an opportunity to pander.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  17. It’s a wise move to try to de-escalate the situation and avoid possible loss of life and property over these monuments to evil that should have never been erected in the first place.

    So “de-escalat[ing] the situation” is synonymous with taking unilateral action that will leave some people whom you otherwise might have won over feeling like their voices were ignored? And the fact that you’re doing it in a year in which you are up for reelection and hoping to use your current job as a springboard into other work. And as far as the worth of the status, what if I told you that the debate had already began (same link as my previous comment):

    In 2017, after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, [Mayor Stoney] seated a panel of historians, preservationists and others to chart a course on the long divisive issue. That panel said the following year the Jefferson Davis statue should come down, but the city should add context to the others.

    But hey, caving into the mob is so much easier, isn’t it? And the logic of doing this so that people don’t get hurt kind of sounds like saying, “We’re going to permanently close your business so that the protesters don’t get hurt looting it.”

    JVW (ee64e4)

  18. And if you read through to the end of the article the degree of self-congratulation from Stoney is pretty annoying, even by the standards of ambitious young politicians.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  19. Nothing really matters, anyone can see
    Nothing really matters
    Nothing really matters to me
    Anyway the wind blows
    –Bohemian Rhapsody

    On the South mall at the University of Texas Austin, when I went to school, at the top northwest corner was a statue of Stephen F. Douglas and at the top northeast corner was a statue of George Washington.

    Well, they took down the statue of Stephen F. Douglas several years ago, what they did with it I don’t know, but they left the statue of George Washington standing.

    It sort of destroyed the symmetry of the mall, you know. Used to be, you could stand in the center of the mall, on green grass in a cool breeze, and look up at the imposing Tower, the inscription on which reads “Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set You Free.” On the left was Douglas, on the right was Washington, it was quite impressive.

    Now, not so much. There’s a statue one side and an empty corner on the other. It ruins the imagery.

    Stephen F. Douglas was a fierce defender of states rights, and he wholeheartedly supported the Confederacy. But that’s not the reason why his statue was taken down. No, it was because he was the Democrat who lost the 1860 election to Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president.

    Now, about that statue left standing. The 40 Acres are filled with over 50,000 student and 10,000 faculty and staff, and they all walk by it every day. But very, very few know this. I’m an alumnus, and I know.

    If you stand in front of the statue, there he is Gen. George Washington, Fathter of the country, first President of the United States, standing so resolute, sword and buckler by his side ( froggy went a courting, and he did hide), so stern, so magnificent.

    However, if you take a few steps across the street and a few steps to the left, and look at the statue from behind, it doesn’t look like he’s holding a sword. It looks like he’s holding his cock! And the plaque at the base reads, “Erected by the Daughters of the Revolution.”

    I wonder how long it would take the woke warriors to notice something like that. Probably never, but even if they did, do you really think they would then topple the statue of a slave-owning founding father that depicts him as a masturbate?

    Just a little bit of Texas humor.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  20. @5

    Just when I thought Trump could not get more bizarre, I read this today:

    Trump says he looks like Lone Ranger in a mask and likes it

    After long resisting wearing a mask in public, President Donald Trump says he thinks it makes him look like the Lone Ranger — and he likes it

    https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/trump-lone-ranger-mask-likes-71564041

    Sometimes I feel like I am living in a Simpsons episode.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  21. Not to be outdone, teh Biden campaign has come up with a catchy new slogan for their blue beanies:

    Make America Simply Sane Again

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/1/2020 @ 3:51 pm

    HA! I denounce myself for laughing.

    felipe (023cc9)

  23. Trump says he looks like Lone Ranger in a mask and likes it

    After long resisting wearing a mask in public, President Donald Trump says he thinks it makes him look like the Lone Ranger — and he likes it.

    I can’t wait to see him appear in public with a mask over his eyes but not his nose or mouth. It will be the perfect Trumpian moment.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  24. 20.

    Stephen F. Douglas was a fierce defender of states rights, and he wholeheartedly supported the Confederacy.

    No, he didn’t. He came up with the idea of each territr=ory deciding whather it wanted slavery or not. Lincoln said slavery required positive law for it to work, and Douglas would support whatever the Supreme Court ruled, and that there was a conspiracy to make slavery legal throughout the United States.

    In the end, in 1860, the Democratic convention of 1860 broke up, and Douglas got only 12 electoral votes.

    Sammy Finkelman (70b0bc)

  25. I can’t wait to see him appear in public with a mask over his eyes but not his nose or mouth. It will be the perfect Trumpian moment.

    You don’t have to wait.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Douglas died very early during the Civil War, so did not take a position on making peace. Interesting they put up Douglas, who wanted to tolerate slavery but always supported the Union.

    Sammy Finkelman (70b0bc)

  27. GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday
    Republican senators are debating whether Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, should replace Columbus Day on the federal government’s list of official holidays.

    A bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to make Juneteenth a federal holiday is being held up by an internal Senate GOP squabble.

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), an outspoken budget hawk, doesn’t want to add another paid holiday to the calendar.

    Johnson says if Juneteenth is made a federal holiday, another paid federal holiday should come off the schedule. He’s proposing scrapping Columbus Day but is open to eliminating another holiday instead.
    ……
    Cornyn, however, says it would be “problematic” to cut Columbus Day, which celebrates the Italian explorer who is widely credited with being the first European to discover the American continent. Columbus Day has long been popular with Italian Americans, in particular.

    Cornyn said swapping in Juneteenth and cutting out Columbus Day “dilutes the message we’re trying to send, which is one of being respectful and honoring and remembering our history.”
    ……

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  28. I saw a cartoon on another cover of another magazine with Biden having one loop of a mask over one ear, and the mask hanging down.

    He really did that, too.

    Biden takes off his mask right before he starts to speak.

    Sammy Finkelman (70b0bc)

  29. I saw a cartoon on another cover of another magazine with Biden having one loop of a mask over one ear, and the mask hanging down.

    He really did that, too.

    Biden takes off his mask right before he starts to speak.

    Yeah, that’s how it works. You’re complaint about Biden is that Biden is functioning like a normal human person.

    Yeah, go back to the plagiarism argument.

    We get it, you are 100% in it for Trump, great.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  30. So, the new rule is that ANY executive, except the President, has unitary power to rule by decree in an emergency. I wish someone would write these down because it really does sound like Calvinball.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. Trump says he’s the Lone Ranger in a mask, but in reality he’s the guy spitting into the wind.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. Biden is one of those normal human persons who’s been in politics for 48 years.

    beer ‘n pretzels (55a824)

  33. The state passed a law giving the mayor authority to do what he did, Kevin.

    Dave (1bb933)

  34. So, the new rule is that ANY executive, except the President, has unitary power to rule by decree in an emergency. I wish someone would write these down because it really does sound like Calvinball.

    You missed the part where the State Legislature gave this power to the local officials by passing an official law. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  35. Biden is one of those normal human persons who’s been in politics for 48 years.

    Trump said ‘experience’ was his edge over Biden. A poll shows voters disagree by a remarkable margin.

    In an interview with Sean Hannity last week, President Trump was asked how he would contrast himself with Joe Biden in the 2020 election and what his second-term agenda would be. Trump offered nothing in the way of an agenda, but he did key on one thing: his “experience.”

    “Well, one of the things that will be really great,” Trump replied, “you know, the word ‘experience’ is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word ‘experience’ is a very important word. It’s an — a very important meaning.”
    ……
    The USA Today-Suffolk University poll asked whether people thought Trump and Joe Biden had “the right experience to be president.” Just 37 percent said that was true of the incumbent, while an equally remarkable 67 percent said it was true of Biden.
    ……
    Voters have no such qualms about Biden, though — quite the opposite. While two-thirds say the former vice president does have the right experience, just 28 percent say he doesn’t. Among his supporters, 96 percent say he has the right experience. Independents say 70 to 22 that he has the right experience, which is pretty much the inverse of Trump’s numbers. Even 31 percent of Trump supporters say Biden, who served alongside a president, has the right experience.
    ……
    What’s notable about the new numbers, though, is that Trump’s 3½ years as president don’t appear to have changed Americans’ belief that he isn’t up to the job. This is one measure on which a businessman and former reality-TV host would seem to have had room for growth. Trump hasn’t demonstrated that, in the minds of the voters.

    In fact, though he has served nearly a full term as president, Americans view Trump’s relevant experience for the job at about the same level as they did Sarah Palin’s in 2008. …..
    …….

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  36. 30. No complaint against Biden. It’s reasonable to act that way, but also a bit funny.

    I am not for Trump, even though I laid out a path to victory for him.

    Sammy Finkelman (70b0bc)

  37. To be fair, Trump’s real problem is that no matter what he does the media will PORTRAY it as crazy. Maybe he’s set himself up for this, but I don’t see how he gets out of this box. He has made it US vs THEM and the people who report his actions to the voters are all THEM. Unless he can somehow connect with voters in a way that cannot be distorted (or amplified, as the case may be), his demonization will continue.

    I don’t expect him to veer into sanity, but more the opposite. Something big, like ordering the Army to deport East Los Angeles.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. You missed the part where the State Legislature gave this power to the local officials by passing an official law. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

    Uh, no, they can’t just do that. Due process and rights and sh1t come first. They cannot just pass a “you be dictator” law.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. The state passed a law giving the mayor authority to do what he did, Kevin.

    As I said, there are limits and this is beyond them. I’d reflect on the term “Commander in Chief” before I waded into the unlimited executive authority argument like that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. You missed the part where the State Legislature gave this power to the local officials by passing an official law. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

    To be precise, I think what the state did was revoke a prior law which prohibited localities from removing these statues. And that to me is fine, but doesn’t change the fact that a mayor and city council should have an open public debate before just taking this sort of step willy-nilly.

    If the state of California were to (heaven forbid!) somehow give counties and municipalities more latitude to raise taxes, I would hope that it wouldn’t be done by emergency order without an adequate review by elected politicians and feedback from citizens.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  41. @36: As long as Biden stays away from a live mic for four months those numbers should hold.

    beer ‘n pretzels (09a336)

  42. BTW, for a politician to call another one “the Lone Ranger” is an insult, along the lines of words ending in “-tard.” For Trump to refer to himself that way is like Forest Gump’s “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. As long as Biden stays away from a live mic for four months those numbers should hold.
    I doubt the experience numbers will ever change.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  44. You realize, of course, that if Trump is re-elected he will have some scores to settle.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. I just think he got caught in the Oval Office trying on the new black leather mask Kellyanne bought for him.

    nk (1d9030)

  46. 28, the Dallas-based members of Pantera will be happy with Cornyn’s defense of Columbus Day.

    urbanleftbehind (33b929)

  47. @32

    Nice Jim Croce reference, Kevin!

    norcal (a5428a)

  48. If someone takes a dump on a street corner (suppose we’re in San Francisco…) do the mayor and the city council need to have “an open public debate” before removing it, just in case somebody happens to like the smell?

    These statues of slave-driving traitors are a dump somebody took on the street a hundred years ago or more in some cases, and they’ve been sitting there, reeking, ever since.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. When a mask won’t do the job that a gag would…

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/biden%2020200701%2001.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  50. If you can find a sturdy enough pony, I can bring a dog mask for the day they finally meet.

    urbanleftbehind (33b929)

  51. This is pretty funny.

    I hope you weren’t involved, Kevin!

    Dave (1bb933)

  52. Whenever I want to argue in favor of American exceptionalism, I always say that we’re the country that didn’t hang Jefferson Davis. In some countries, merely losing an election is a death sentence, let alone starting, and then losing, an incredibly bloody civil war. But that’s enough — we don’t need to have statues of any of the Confederate leaders. When the various Southern states and cities erected the statues, black citizens were effectively prevented from voting. So if they and others now vote to remove the statues, what’s wrong with that? The current mayor of Richmond is probably no more (or less) venal and ambitious than any of his predecessors, so it’s hard to fault him for taking a position for his political benefit. That’s just what politicians do.

    None of that takes away from the historical importance, good and bad, of the Confederates. For example, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson served an unjust and horrific cause but they were great military leaders nonetheless. Learning from their methods, as I assume and hope the US military still does, doesn’t endorse slavery or any of the rest of it. Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of perspective these days though.

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  53. I agree with you RL, except for the part about “the historical importance, good and bad, of the Confederates.”

    That some men of talent served the Confederacy does nothing to redeem it, in my view. Hitler, Stalin and Mao also had some skilled military commanders. But I can’t imagine writing the words “the historical importance, good and bad, of Nazis”, etc.

    I think your point was that we can learn from the history of the Confederacy and those who (willingly or unwillingly) served it. And so we should. But the Confederacy itself was an unmitigated evil whose sins we are still paying a price for today.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. But the Confederacy itself was an unmitigated evil whose sins we are still paying a price for today.

    In some quarters, yes, it’s true, still being billed. And the Democrats with their Jim Crowe, KKK, etc., in the decades that followed were deadly. But for most, what ended in 1865, ended in 1865.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. But for most, what ended in 1865, ended in 1865.

    Strangely, those who were held in poverty and illiteracy, and denied the most basic civil rights for the next hundred years, see it differently.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. 56… and to address those wrongs, I call upon the Democrat Party to step up and fund reparations. They can start with tapping Silicon Valley, and when they’ve bled them dry, tap Hollywood and when that till is empty, turn to the Ivy League schools and their endowments.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  57. Nice Jim Croce reference, Kevin!

    I should add that Trump should steer clear of Mattis.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  58. But for most, what ended in 1865, ended in 1865.

    I find I have to agree with Dave here. What ended in 1865 was a complete and utter deprivation, what blacks sometimes call a holocaust. But what followed after the Union troops went home was only better by comparison. “Less awful.” For a taste of what happened, and the degree of the betrayal read some of the post-Reconstruction “Civil Rights” cases.

    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/92/542/
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/109/3/#tab-opinion-1909567

    Much much later we had the Civil Rights movement of mid-century, but that only went so far. Now blacks are just a little oppressed instead of a lot. I get the anger. I have been in situations where things would have gone differently if I were black (e.g. my car was still on the hot list after I got it back, and I got pulled over). I’ve seen the things that nutso white folk do when they see a black guy in their neighborhood. Maybe this time it will change for the better. I hope so.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. They want to erase america, i told you whose behind this movement, you want ti pretend otherwise do so.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  60. His associates were vandalizing the vehicles of gop volunteers, he turned states evidence.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  61. I think the point for folks on the left and for the youth is to eliminate history. History tells us some things might not work, but that also keeps us from doing what we want.

    DRJ (aede82)


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