Northam announces removal of Robert E. Lee statue from US Capitol and replacement plan

A historic Robert E. Lee statue has been removed from the U.S. Capitol overnight.

Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam announced the historic statue will be replaced by a new statue of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns.

Northam said “we should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country.”

He added “the Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cheered the decision, saying “the Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate, as we fight to end the scourge of racism in our country.”

“There is no room for celebrating the bigotry of the Confederacy in the Capitol or any other place of honor in our country,” she added.