On August 12, a white supremacist rally in the city—organized to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee—turned deadly. Thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was killed and nineteen others hospitalized when a car plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators. Since then, both the Lee and Jackson statues have remained at the center of controversy.
I took a trip down to Charlottesville today to finally check things out for myself. Here’s what the Jackson statue looked like:
In nearby Emancipation Park—recently renamed from “Lee Park”—here’s what the Lee statue looks like:
The city plans to remove the statues but, until it can, it has draped them in black plastic tarps. First installed on Wednesday, August 23, the tarps are intended to memorialize Heyer’s death.
I have always admired the Jackson statue, in particular (a replica casting stands in downtown Clarksburg, WV—the town of Jackson’s birth). Of the many “statues of Stonewall,” the Charlottesville statue has always been my favorite because it captures a sense of urgency and action. Although it’s an impressive memorial, it is also an impressive piece of art—beautiful, detailed, inspiring.
It’s hard to recognize him under the black tarp.