Our BOCS chairman, Corey Stewart, has taken up a cause that really doesn’t concern him. He isn’t a native Virginian and he isn’t from Charlottesville. I doubt if he has even ever lived there.
Corey has embedded himself in the cause to save the statue of Robert E. Lee from being removed from Lee Park in Charlottesville. While I actually agree with Corey (or I should probably say Corey agrees with me), it is a local matter and a matter for the people of Charlottesville to decide, and ultimately the courts.
I was born and raised in Charlottesville. My mother’s family has been there since the 1700’s. In fact, Lee Park was dedicated to my great-great-great aunt and her husband, parents of Paul Goodloe McIntire. When this entire Lee Park kerfuffle came to a head, I thought seriously about getting involved because of family. Then I came to the conclusion that I had been gone from the city way too long and I should keep my mouth shut publicly.
Corey should do the same. He has less standing on the matter than I do. He is only trying to beef up his conservative credentials. That isn’t going to work in this case. He has cast it as a liberal/conservative issue. Not really. We Virginians, even we liberal Virginians, still love our Virginia history, warts and all. We despise Taliban mentality–you know, those thought-police ideas demand we tear down anything that might expose a less than shining past. Virginians try to preserve our history and if nothing else, learn from it. No, it really isn’t along liberal/conservative lines.
The courts will decide the fate of the Robert E. Lee Statue. The City needs to look carefully at the deed giving Charlottesville the land that is known as Lee Park. They might not want to take that tiger by the tail. Statues and other public memorabilia tell a story of the place where they are located, as a rule. They commemorate history. The statues commissioned by Mr. McIntire in the early part of the 20th century are part of the ethos of the City.
Corey needs to stay away from crowds that wave Confederate battle flags. That kind of image will paint him in a corner from which he cannot extricate himself. Unfortunately, in modern times, that flag has been misused–it has been misused as an object and symbol of hate.